Aluminum foil foils traffic light sensor fails, unconfirmed report of Newport Beach bike death, and new Downey bike lane

Phillip Young writes today with a brilliant DIY workaround for the problem of carbon wheels not being recognized by traffic signal sensors.

Would you please pass this traffic light safety tip along to your readers with carbon rim wheels?

Carbon rim bicycle wheels usually do not trigger traffic signal light sensor coils buried in the pavement and can be a safety issue. The non-conducting carbon rims do not change the magnet field around sensor coils, so the traffic light doesn’t change for you.

If the traffic signal light doesn’t trip in your travel direction and you have waited for 2 or 3 minutes, you may be inclined to run the red traffic signal light dodging traffic at your peril.

My carbon rim bicycle wheels would not trigger traffic light sensor coils buried in the pavement until aluminum foil tape was applied to the rim circumference with some foil tape overlap.

I added 3M adhesive backed aluminum foil tape cut about the width of rim tape where the normal cloth rim tape goes. The adhesive backed aluminum foil tape sticks well to the carbon rim material and weighs almost nothing. This should work on all carbon rims using inner tubes.

Push the aluminum foil tape down against the rim to get full contact and adhesion. Install the normal cloth rim tape on top of the aluminum foil tape. The foil tape also offers additional support to the rim tape over the rim spoke holes.

The rim with aluminum foil tape now reliably triggers traffic light sensor coils. The bicycle wheel rim with aluminum foil should be positioned parallel to and directly over the sensor coils buried in the pavement rewarding you with a green light.

May your travels be safe and green lights will always be with you,

Phil

PS: Aluminum rim bicycle wheels usually work triggering traffic signal lights if the wheel is positioned parallel to and directly over the pavement sensor coils.

For those looking for a more detailed explanation of why this works, Young followed up with this post from Cyclelicious.

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Nextdoor users have been reporting a possible bicycling fatality Monday morning on Dover Drive near PCH in Newport Beach.

So far, though, I’ve been unable to find any confirmation. So let’s hope that Nextdoor, which is not exactly known for its veracity, is wrong this time.

Thanks to David Huntsman and Lois for the heads-up.

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Downey has a new painted bike lane on Old River School Road.

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A crowdfunding campaign to help the victims of Saturday’s vehicular attack at a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona has raised nearly $60,000 of the $100,000 goal.

Which works out to just $10,000 for each of the critically injured victims.

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For anyone who needs a little something to entertain yourself on the rare moments you’re not riding your bike, how about coloring a few LA landmarks?

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This is who the anti-bike crowd are really opposing when they stand up against bike paths and protected bikeways.

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Nothing like heading out for a McDonald’s run with a tandem bike-powered car.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. After a California man was killed when he struck a chain blocking a Carson City, Nevada trail, the local sheriff warns against riders over-extending their confidence levels, instead of warning about dangerous chains strung across pathways that can kill unsuspecting people on bicycles.

Pennsylvania police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who sideswiped at least five bike riders with his passenger side mirror; the victims believe it was a deliberate attempt to buzz, if not injure, the riders.

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Local

Los Angeles received an $18 million grant for safety improvements to the Broadway corridor in South Los Angeles, rather than the $64 million the city asked for, on the condition that they limit the project to the safe street infrastructure component of the application for the deadly street, and guarantee completion; the street is one of LA’s most dangerous streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

LAist examines how Van Nuys’ Retro Xpress Bicycles navigated the pandemic as an essential business.

NoHo ‘bent dealer Bent Up Cycles is now the proud owner of Florida recumbent maker Bacchetta Bicycles.

 

State

San Diego drivers are complaining about a lack of parking in certain parts of town. Which is a pretty good argument to not drive if you don’t have to.

That’s more like it. A TV reporter tries out San Francisco’s Lyft bikeshare ebikes, and swears she’ll never drive again.

 

National

NBC News examines whether removing freeways built on a legacy of inequity can heal historic wounds.

VeloNews offers tips on how to avoid cyclist’s palsy, the painful numbness and tingling in your hands and arms from gripping the handlebars.

A new report shows that the jump in traffic deaths during the pandemic was more likely to affect Black people, who were killed at a rate 25% higher than white people.

Tragic news from Texas, where a man drowned in a North Texas lake when he rode his bike into the side of a bridge and fell over the guardrail.

The New Yorker takes a stab at humor by suggesting that riding a bicycle isn’t just like riding a bike, after all.

 

International

Yet another new study shows that ebike riders can complete a trip faster and with less effort than on a conventional bike, but still gain significant health benefits.

Vancouver has honored fallen mountain biker Jordie Lunn by naming a new bike park after him, two years after the famed stunt cyclist was killed trail riding with friends in Mexico.

An Ontario, Canada man begged a judge for mercy after he was convicted of the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding woman, insisting he just “panicked and made a mistake.” Never mind that the prosecutor is only asking for a “stiff sentence” of only two years behind bars. Then again, how much mercy did he show his victim, who was sentenced to death at his hands?

A British filmmaker stayed relatively close to home during the pandemic by filming a challenging 450-mile ride around Wales.

Over 85% of readers of the UK’s Courier newspaper think bike helmets should be made mandatory. Which only shows just how wrong 85% of readers can be.

Berlin is expanding the city’s bike network by making 15 miles of popup bike lanes installed during the pandemic permanentUnlike a certain Southern California megalopolis we could name, which missed out on a once-in-a-generation opportunity by failing to install any to begin with.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar may be one of the few people who can claim to have pedaled a path from village unicyclist to winner of the world’s greatest bike race.

Cycling News considers the unique mystique of Mont Ventoux in Tour de France history; competitors in this year’s race will have to surmount the mountain twice in a single stage.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome lowers his sights, insisting he’ll be happy just winning a stage in this year’s Tour.

Cycling Tips examines the eternal question of what team sponsors actually do on the men’s WorldTour.

Reuters looks at five women’s cyclists to watch at the Tokyo Olympics, including pink sock-wearing American speedster Chloe Dygert.

Cyclist considers the top rivalries in pro cycling, dating back to 1940s cycling legends Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.

 

Finally…

Not every Olympic cyclist has her very own Chipotle bowl. That feeling when your epic bike ride from Moscow to California only takes a few hours.

And probably not the best idea to growl at the bear you just startled.

Just saying.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

2 comments

  1. DQ says:

    …racist and transphobic Chloe Dygert.

  2. Ralph Durham says:

    A cyclist advocate in the SF Bay Area said that he shouldn’t need to be a physicist to work a traffic light sensor.

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