Feds Spend $300K On Study On How To Ride Bikes

jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,753 ✭✭✭✭✭
By Elizabeth Harrington, FOX NEWS

The National Science Foundation has paid $300,000 for a study on how “humans interact with bicycles,” which a House committee is calling “wasted” taxpayer money, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The premise for the project , conducted from October 2009 to June 2013, was that bicycle dynamics are “poorly understood,” and researchers set out to come up with new designs to encourage more Americans to bike to lower their carbon footprint.

“Although human-operator control models exist for numerous aircraft and other vehicles, the bicycle with a rider is a human-vehicle system whose dynamic behavior is poorly understood,” researchers at the University of California, Davis, which received the NSF grant money for the project, said in a paper publishing their interim results.
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Comments

  • pelirrojopelirrojo Farmington, NMPosts: 1,759 ✭✭✭
    The abstract from the grant...

    "The research objective of this award is to develop experimentally validated dynamic models of bicycles controlled by human riders. These models will be similar to those developed in the aerospace industry to understand pilot/vehicle interactions for the purpose of designing aircraft with desired handling qualities. The bicycle and human rider is distinct from aircraft and automobiles because most of the mass is in the rider, rather than the vehicle. This distinction presents unique challenges to developing guidelines for the design of bicycles with desired handling qualities and addressing this issue will be at the core of the research. Instrumented bicycles will be designed, built, and tested to validate the analytic models developed. Deliverables include validated dynamic models of the bicycle system under human rider control, software tools that can be used to further study bicycle dynamics and control, documentation of research results, and engineering student education.

    If successful, the results of this research will improve the fundamental understanding of how humans interact with bicycles and will help to pave the way to the design of bicycles for a wider population audience and for a wider range of tasks. Systematic design of bicycles with more utilitarian purposes (as opposed to recreation) may be made possible, which in turn will lead to lower cost, healthier, and more sustainable modes of personal transportation. Graduate students will be directly involved in the research as well as in the dissemination of the results through classroom instruction, scientific publication, and outreach activities at the K-12 level and local science centers. The familiarity of children with the bicycle makes it an ideal candidate to spark their interest in future engineering careers."

    So it's an analysis of bicycle/human interaction in order to better design a bicycle, whose design has remained essentially unchanged since its inception. If it makes the design of the bicycle more operator friendly and in turn gets more people to use a bicycle as opposed to a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels, it decreases pollution, decreases the impact on our already shoddy road and highway systems, and increases the health of Americans who choose to ride bicycles. If enough people choose to ride bikes, you wind up with a somewhat healthier population, which would ideally help lower the cost of healthcare.

    In a 2008 study done by Rutgers University entitled "Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia" a clear correlation was observed between higher rates of cycling and walking and lower rates of obesity as is evidenced in the following graph.
    image
    Anything that can work towards improving the health of Americans while simultaneously helping reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our levels of environmental pollution doesn't sound like a waste of money to me.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Can't we just ride horses?
  • variant2variant2 <---- Don't Believe Him!Posts: 830 ✭✭✭✭
    Rain:
    Can't we just ride horses?
    No! Supposedly they fart, pollute the air and contribute to global warming.

    Cнeerѕ! Moтнerғυcĸer
  • ShadowInTheMoonShadowInTheMoon The 8th CirclePosts: 507
    variant2:
    Rain:
    Can't we just ride horses?
    No! Supposedly they fart, pollute the air and contribute to global warming.

    Would this work then
    Two people with a common goal can accomplish many things. Two people with a common enemy can accomplish even more.
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,753 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ShadowInTheMoon:
    variant2:
    Rain:
    Can't we just ride horses?
    No! Supposedly they fart, pollute the air and contribute to global warming.

    Would this work then


    OUTSTANDING.....just harness whoopi goldberg's output.

    As an aside I would be more then happy to drive an electric car if:
    1. They went farther.
    2. They went faster.
    3. They were cheaper.
    4. The drivers in TN knew what a turn signal was.
    5. The drivers in TN knew what a stop sign was.
    "Look it up" Bill Whittle = "Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions". Stolen from a post by @silvermouse ="I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I usually trust a dog when it doesn't like a person.” A lot of people. = "I would never trust a Democrat with a child or my wallet" They are on their way to ruining the country because fools keep voting for them. ="Don't you just love anonymous PC warriors and Keyboard Commandos"

  • variant2variant2 <---- Don't Believe Him!Posts: 830 ✭✭✭✭
    ShadowInTheMoon:
    variant2:
    Rain:
    Can't we just ride horses?
    No! Supposedly they fart, pollute the air and contribute to global warming.

    Would this work then
    That's a Smart Fart!

    If that was real, California would lead the way to pass a law and find a way to outfit us with rectal meters.

    Cнeerѕ! Moтнerғυcĸer
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 5,722 ✭✭✭✭✭
    pelirrojo:
    The abstract from the grant...

    "The research objective of this award is to develop experimentally validated dynamic models of bicycles controlled by human riders. These models will be similar to those developed in the aerospace industry to understand pilot/vehicle interactions for the purpose of designing aircraft with desired handling qualities. The bicycle and human rider is distinct from aircraft and automobiles because most of the mass is in the rider, rather than the vehicle. This distinction presents unique challenges to developing guidelines for the design of bicycles with desired handling qualities and addressing this issue will be at the core of the research. Instrumented bicycles will be designed, built, and tested to validate the analytic models developed. Deliverables include validated dynamic models of the bicycle system under human rider control, software tools that can be used to further study bicycle dynamics and control, documentation of research results, and engineering student education.

    If successful, the results of this research will improve the fundamental understanding of how humans interact with bicycles and will help to pave the way to the design of bicycles for a wider population audience and for a wider range of tasks. Systematic design of bicycles with more utilitarian purposes (as opposed to recreation) may be made possible, which in turn will lead to lower cost, healthier, and more sustainable modes of personal transportation. Graduate students will be directly involved in the research as well as in the dissemination of the results through classroom instruction, scientific publication, and outreach activities at the K-12 level and local science centers. The familiarity of children with the bicycle makes it an ideal candidate to spark their interest in future engineering careers."

    So it's an analysis of bicycle/human interaction in order to better design a bicycle, whose design has remained essentially unchanged since its inception. If it makes the design of the bicycle more operator friendly and in turn gets more people to use a bicycle as opposed to a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels, it decreases pollution, decreases the impact on our already shoddy road and highway systems, and increases the health of Americans who choose to ride bicycles. If enough people choose to ride bikes, you wind up with a somewhat healthier population, which would ideally help lower the cost of healthcare.

    In a 2008 study done by Rutgers University entitled "Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia" a clear correlation was observed between higher rates of cycling and walking and lower rates of obesity as is evidenced in the following graph.
    image
    Anything that can work towards improving the health of Americans while simultaneously helping reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our levels of environmental pollution doesn't sound like a waste of money to me.
    First, pay for the pie you already ate.
    Then tell me about that pie in the sky.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • raisindotraisindot BostonPosts: 1,308 ✭✭✭
    pelirrojo:
    The abstract from the grant...

    "The research objective of this award is to develop experimentally validated dynamic models of bicycles controlled by human riders. These models will be similar to those developed in the aerospace industry to understand pilot/vehicle interactions for the purpose of designing aircraft with desired handling qualities. The bicycle and human rider is distinct from aircraft and automobiles because most of the mass is in the rider, rather than the vehicle. This distinction presents unique challenges to developing guidelines for the design of bicycles with desired handling qualities and addressing this issue will be at the core of the research. Instrumented bicycles will be designed, built, and tested to validate the analytic models developed. Deliverables include validated dynamic models of the bicycle system under human rider control, software tools that can be used to further study bicycle dynamics and control, documentation of research results, and engineering student education.

    If successful, the results of this research will improve the fundamental understanding of how humans interact with bicycles and will help to pave the way to the design of bicycles for a wider population audience and for a wider range of tasks. Systematic design of bicycles with more utilitarian purposes (as opposed to recreation) may be made possible, which in turn will lead to lower cost, healthier, and more sustainable modes of personal transportation. Graduate students will be directly involved in the research as well as in the dissemination of the results through classroom instruction, scientific publication, and outreach activities at the K-12 level and local science centers. The familiarity of children with the bicycle makes it an ideal candidate to spark their interest in future engineering careers."

    So it's an analysis of bicycle/human interaction in order to better design a bicycle, whose design has remained essentially unchanged since its inception. If it makes the design of the bicycle more operator friendly and in turn gets more people to use a bicycle as opposed to a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels, it decreases pollution, decreases the impact on our already shoddy road and highway systems, and increases the health of Americans who choose to ride bicycles. If enough people choose to ride bikes, you wind up with a somewhat healthier population, which would ideally help lower the cost of healthcare.

    In a 2008 study done by Rutgers University entitled "Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia" a clear correlation was observed between higher rates of cycling and walking and lower rates of obesity as is evidenced in the following graph.
    image
    Anything that can work towards improving the health of Americans while simultaneously helping reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our levels of environmental pollution doesn't sound like a waste of money to me.


    As loony liberal as I am, I just don't see the point of the federal government funding things like this when this a clear case where the private industry--i.e,, bike manufacturers could have funded it themselves. I mean, it's not as full-blown a waste of money as giving billions of dollars to defense contractors to develop unneeded weapons that don't work that even the military itself doesn't want simply to keep congressmen's local lobbyists happy. But as someone who has witnessed firsthand how big federal research grants are used mainly to generate never-to-be-read research that funds professor's salaries and provides work for Ph.D. students, I do look at most of these social research things with a jaded eye.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,960 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'd rather they spend the money studying where to ride bikes. When I lived in Germany, I rode my bicycle everywhere, every day. They had bike lanes, bike trails, etc. Here, when pushed to create such things, the politicians have the Hwy Dept make a few signs saying "Bike Trail" post them next to the highway indicating that the 2 inches of pavement beyond the outside white line is a designated bicycle lane. Never mind that the passenger side mirror of any mid-size auto is going to rip off the left elbow of anyone brave enough to ride a bicycle there. They're done! We're all cosmopolitan now.

    Of course, real bike lanes would mean spending the taxpayers money on the people, instead of on the special interests, so, that's a no-go.

    JD makes a good point about TN drivers, though. I imagine that anytime the average Tennessean accidentally turns on their turn signal the question arises:

    "What's that clickin' noise?"
    .
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

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  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 5,722 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Amos Umwhat:
    I'd rather they spend the money studying where to ride bikes. When I lived in Germany, I rode my bicycle everywhere, every day. They had bike lanes, bike trails, etc. Here, when pushed to create such things, the politicians have the Hwy Dept make a few signs saying "Bike Trail" post them next to the highway indicating that the 2 inches of pavement beyond the outside white line is a designated bicycle lane. Never mind that the passenger side mirror of any mid-size auto is going to rip off the left elbow of anyone brave enough to ride a bicycle there. They're done! We're all cosmopolitan now.

    Of course, real bike lanes would mean spending the taxpayers money on the people, instead of on the special interests, so, that's a no-go.

    JD makes a good point about TN drivers, though. I imagine that anytime the average Tennessean accidentally turns on their turn signal the question arises:

    "What's that clickin' noise?"
    .
    Round here, try to ride a bike to work, you take your life in your hands.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,804 ✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Amos Umwhat:
    I'd rather they spend the money studying where to ride bikes. When I lived in Germany, I rode my bicycle everywhere, every day. They had bike lanes, bike trails, etc. Here, when pushed to create such things, the politicians have the Hwy Dept make a few signs saying "Bike Trail" post them next to the highway indicating that the 2 inches of pavement beyond the outside white line is a designated bicycle lane. Never mind that the passenger side mirror of any mid-size auto is going to rip off the left elbow of anyone brave enough to ride a bicycle there. They're done! We're all cosmopolitan now.

    Of course, real bike lanes would mean spending the taxpayers money on the people, instead of on the special interests, so, that's a no-go.

    JD makes a good point about TN drivers, though. I imagine that anytime the average Tennessean accidentally turns on their turn signal the question arises:

    "What's that clickin' noise?"
    .
    Round here, try to ride a bike to work, you take your life in your hands.
    While I have no doubt this is true, I think it has more to deal with what Amos is saying (ie this is not something we are used to here at all) than any conclusion that it couldnt work here or drivers over time could not adapt.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    I bet President Obama funded that study.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,804 ✭✭✭
    Thats productive
  • RainRain Posts: 8,960 ✭✭✭
    Vulchor:
    Thats productive
    I was just trying to help JD out :)
  • dr_frankenstein56dr_frankenstein56 Posts: 1,613 ✭✭✭
    if nobody ever spent money..... how would we know? somebodys got to do it...

    Aj
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,020 ✭✭✭✭✭
    They could spend the money on teaching those that ride bicycles, how to properly ride them on the roads to prevent accidents with cars.
    Even with bike lanes, they still insist on riding down the middle of the highways, ride right through stop signs, lights and pay little attention to any traffic laws.
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 5,722 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dr_frankenstein56:
    if nobody ever spent money..... how would we know? somebodys got to do it...

    Aj
    Yeah, I think we're far from having a no spending problem.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • dr_frankenstein56dr_frankenstein56 Posts: 1,613 ✭✭✭
    not that this is the most logical thing to spend money on.... but shoot ... some stupid stuff has had money spent on it and it changed the world.

    Imagine what everybody thought about the people "Investigating" bread and fruit mold........... years later... we have penicillian. Learning is never perfect or cheap.

    Aj
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