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Comment It's good to have an end rather just withering awa (Score 2) 129

I used it a very long time ago and countless people have used it before and since. It's far better to have a definite end date rather than just sporadic updates that grow farther apart and less significant, - leaving people to wonder if it's being maintained or not.

Instead of the maintainer feeling the occasional pang of guilt over not doing anything, they can feel good about what was accomplished during the life of the project and move on to the next thing.

Comment Re:Amazing (Score 1) 258

I'm almost 30 years into my career and have had access to a shower in at least half of the places I've worked. In lots of situations you really don't need one as long as it's relatively flat and you're not killing yourself to get there. A lot of the time cycling takes no more effort than walking. It's just faster.

I graduated and started programming in 1987. I drove a car with no A/C and vinyl seats. I was sweatier getting out of that thing on some mornings than I would be after biking at a moderate pace.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

So then there's probably traffic going 40.

No, the traffic is probably going 20 to 25. At least where I would ride with them. Suburbia might be different.

Bicycle trailers are difficult for cars to see in many situations. They're not a good place to drag a child. You can tell yourself whatever you want, but there's just no way to make that safe. In certain limited circumstances the risk may be comparable to other stuff you do daily, but for the most part, it's just a bad idea. I mostly see them in places where it's a very bad idea, that may be confirmation bias, but obviously plenty of people are using them that way.

Describe for me a situation where you can't see a trailer and would be likely to collide with one? The idea that you could see a kid on a bike easier than you could see something taller (the adult), wider, and over twice as long makes no sense. Think about it. I'm not saying it's a risk free activity, but we are far more likely to die doing something else that we wouldn't think twice about. You've decided they're unsafe because they were relatively uncommon until recently and because many of us are no longer used to seeing anything but cars on the streets. The fact that kids used to ride their bikes on the streets all the time has been lost from collective memory since we as a society have started driving them everywhere along with ourselves.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

Getting thrown doesn't mean the kid will not get injured or killed. Hitting the pavement or curb is where a lot of serious bike injuries come from.

With a bike trailer, the kids are buckled in and protected by a metal frame. We had our kids wear helmets as well. The trailers are brightly colored and have big orange flags the stick up for visibility. Plus there's an adult on a bike immediately in front of them. They're pretty hard not to see.

Have you ever ridden a bike carrying a bag full of newspapers? It's not particularly maneuverable, stable, or fast. Not sure that kid has any more chance of avoiding an accident and maybe less.

I wouldn't expect the metal frame of the bike trailer to protect a child from a car hitting it at 50 mph or even 30. At the same time I never had a trailer on a street where the speed limit was above 30. In practice, traffic is either light or moving a lot slower.

One of the most likely scenarios for getting hit is a car pulling out of parking spot or lot and not seeing you. As a cyclist you learn to be wary of that potential and act accordingly. Even so, if there is a collision, the cars aren't moving all that fast. Another common collision between bikes and cars is the "right hook". It is where a car will pass you as you approach an intersection and make a right turn in front of you not realizing you were there. In that scenario, it is your momentum that would lead to any injury and it would be the adult that gets hit and not the trailer.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

What do you mean by "city streets" ? I live in a city and there's some streets I'd take a trailer on and others I wouldn't, but I could get most places I'd want to go. Speed limits are slower in the city and drivers are used to watching for pedestrians crossing and bikes in the road.

It wasn't that long ago that a common job for kids was delivering papers and they'd do it on their bikes, sometimes on the sidewalk, sometimes on the street. Bikes were a common way for kids to get to school or anywhere else they wanted to go. I used to ride across three towns to get to a shopping mall on roads far more dangerous for bikes than anything near here.

I'm not sure where it happened but somewhere along the line, our fears have gotten way out of proportion with reality. Somewhere between 700 and 800 people are killed on bikes in the US each year and a small percentage of them are kids. So yes it can happen. About 5,000 teenagers die every year in car crashes. About 400,000 are seriously injured. About 700 kids drown each year. There are 246,000 medically treated trampoline injuries each year.

I'm far more worried about the prospect of my 15 year old driving next year, than I am of his riding his bike around town. Statistics would seem to support my concerns.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

We have a Burley D'Lite. It's about 15 years old now and our kids have long since out grown it. We still use it to haul stuff. Anyway the capacity of the new models are about 100 pounds I'm not sure what ours is. It was expensive but we got our money's worth. It doubled as a stroller. There are lots of choices now that weren't available then.

I'm not an expert on bakfiets but they come in various sizes. I've seen some with a listed capacity of 80kg in the front and another 25kg in the rear.

Once our kids outgrew the trailer, we got a Trek "Mountain Tram", - essentially it's like a kid's bike without a front wheel that attaches to the back of your bike. The kids can either help you by pedaling or they can just coast and make you do all the work. We had one from Trek but there are all kinds of them. Newer one's I've seen are almost like recumbents that have seat backs, etc. A child could ride a long ways in one of those in comfort. I've seen people attach one of these to their bike and then a trailer to the tram to put the smaller kids in.

Anyway, the main point is that there are lots of good options for bringing the kids along.

Comment Re:The street will become half as wide (Score 1) 258

I'm not sure I follow. Because it takes you 4 times longer to get where you're going that some how quadruples the amount of space you take up? If every cyclist rode single file and every car stayed behind every cyclist that might be the case, but that's not how it works.

And I agree that it seems unlikely that it takes you 4 times as long to get to work on a bike. The building I work in like many buildings in the city has very limited parking. Most people have to park somewhere and walk a few blocks. I can ride door to door. That saves me time. During the summer I can ride the 6 miles to work in 25 minutes or less. I'm very lucky if I can drive to work during rush hour and arrive in that same period of time.

Comment Re:wish this existed in silicon valley (Score 3, Interesting) 258

Lots of metro areas are becoming like this and so increasingly are suburbs. I live in Minneapolis and bike year round. We have a bike freeway that cuts through the middle of the city on an old railroad line. It's the quickest way across the city, especially during rush hour.

Lots and lots of people die in car accidents and it doesn't stop folks from driving.

Comment Re:I don't understand the opposing argument. (Score 1) 258

While a low income is associated with obesity, it doesn't mean that all poor people are fat. And being obese doesn't mean you can't ride a bike, - even if you weigh 500 pounds. Check out this story about a guy that lost over 300 pounds by changing his diet and riding a bike: http://www.bicycling.com/food/.... Clearly this guy had some money in order to be able to afford a customized bike, but a 300 pound person has plenty of options in stock bikes. An older steel bike might even be better.

Again, I'm not sure how promoting a less expensive form of transportation hurts the poor, especially since other forms of transportation aren't being eliminated.

I ride my bike to work most days. It's 30 years old and I paid $75 for it at a garage sale. It's a simple fixed gear and probably costs less per year to maintain on average than a single tank of gas, - and that's in the US. I'm sure that operating a vehicle in London is a lot more expensive than it is here.

This seems like the kind of policy that has long term benefits for the poor and really just about everyone if you care about the environment.

Comment Re:I don't understand the opposing argument. (Score 1) 258

You really don't see it? They're going to create these bike lanes by taking a car lane and walling it off. Thus, more traffic and it sucks for everyone but bike riders.

I know that a lot of bike riders think of this as a positive, which is unfortunate. You can't ride a bike unless you're physically fit, which rules out the disabled, the elderly, the young, and much of the poor. Also to people who sweat a lot, and entirely genetic problem. It's like a giant middle finger to everyone in society. The attitude seems to be, "tough, now it's time for YOU to suffer!"

How physically fit do you need to be to ride a bike? It's not that hard and the beauty is that if you're not that fit now, you can get more fit by riding.

How does it hurt the young? If they're too young to ride there are lots of options for the parents to bring them along on a bike (via trailer, bakfiets, or whatever). The young certainly can't drive.

The poor? They're too poor to ride a bike, but they can own a car, pay for fuel, and for parking? Sorry, that doesn't make sense.

It's not like the road is going away completely or there aren't going to be trains or buses for people who aren't able to ride.

Take a good look around your city and notice how much space is devoted to the automobile. If you could take even 10% of the cars away by making it practical for people to get around by other means, imagine how much space that would free up. There might even be LESS congestion in lots of places.

Comment Re:Not just wearables but the basic cell phone too (Score 1) 202

Your wrist is an extremely handy place to have information available when you're on the move. That's why over time there's been so many specialty watches created whether for diving, sailing, training, etc. Ever notice what's on the wrists of quarter backs, running backs, and receivers during a football game? Not watches, but playlists.

The smart watch is in its infancy. We might be a ways off from ones that are truly useful and convenient, but the potential is definitely there.

Comment Re:Two different markets (Score 1) 202

I have a divers watch with a traditional analog display and two small digital readouts for other information like current depth, water temp and other dive related info. I actually do dive with it but mostly I use it as a regular watch. From a diver's perspective, watches like this have been largely replaced by dive computers. Lots of people get watches like this purely for the fashion and I do get a compliment on it once in awhile.

Though it's pretty durable, I do have to be careful with it in some ways. Battery replacement is expensive because it has to be pressure tested to 200 meters, and only a few places are able to do it for this particular watch. The watch was gone for two weeks the last time I had the the battery replaced. For that reason I don't often wear it while swimming because I swim a lot and it will automatically go into dive mode. It's not like the battery drain in that mode is THAT bad but not wearing while swimming probably gives me another 6 months of battery life. Wish I would have spent the extra money for an Eco-drive. But the battery/capacitor eventually goes on those too.

For me an Apple Watch would cost about the same and provide a lot more functionality. It does have a fairly basic water resistance rating, but according to this test: https://youtu.be/kJFci42OO7c It actually survives the pressure of being submerged at substantial depths pretty well. Lots of people have figured this out and there's even been a swim app designed for it.

My point is that they're not as fragile as you make them out to be and people tend to take care of their "nice" watches anyway. An Apple Watch may not provide any feature you'd be interested in but that doesn't mean they don't have genuine value for other people.

At first I was skeptical that a smart watch would have any impact on the market for Swiss watches but looking at what Fossil sells, I can kind of see it. They have lots of extra dials and gizmos on them. It's not just a classic high end watch that tells time.

Comment Re:Law of large numbers (Score 1) 155

Aren't politics also in the eye of the beholder? Whether or not you like the politics in Minnesota would sort of depend on your political beliefs. For that matter, no matter what your politics are, you could find a happy place there (and I suppose anywhere). Everyone from Michelle Bachman, to Al Franken, to Jess Ventura has found a niche in Minnesota politics.

Comment Re:Law of large numbers (Score 2) 155

Let's get real for a moment. I grew up here.

The climate sucks by comparison to almost everywhere else. It's nice just often enough to know what we are missing when it's not.

The food is bland across the entire state, even in the cities. Spaghetti is considered a spicy ethnic delicacy.

We are stifled by Marxist politics and oppressed by the nanny state

The mosquitoes are ginormous

The ratio of women to men is only 50 to 50 which is not nearly good enough for males in the tech industry to have any real hope for a love life.

In popular culture we are most well known for our accent and creative use of wood chippers.

Let the open tech jobs go unfilled. Those of us already here in the tech industry will do our best to slog through the constant blizzards to do the jobs that companies can't pay enough for outsiders to take.

The way to make a small fortune in the commodities market is to start with a large fortune.