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Monday, November 2, 2015

where's a car when you need one

The magnetic sensors in the road that trigger a traffic light to change rarely work for bicycles in my town. I guess all the lights with these sensors also have pedestrian cross buttons to trigger a light change but sometimes I don't feel like riding up on the sidewalk. So I wait for a car or pedestrian to arrive. It's usually a short wait. But often also one of those surprising moments of stillness - sitting quietly in the glaring fall sunshine...

6 comments:

amidnightrider.com said...

Call the authorities and get them working. 8>). Those in my town work very good and I have explained them to other riders young and old that all you have to do is put your bike on the mark.

mindful mule said...

Thanks, Midnight. I should send a list of all the light sensors that aren't working to the city… soon after which I'll mysteriously and unexplainably start getting run off the road by maintenance trucks…

J said...

Maybe if you get really fat, the sensors will think you're a car?

mindful mule said...

Thanks, J. I don't think steel would digest very well or turn into fat.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Small small correction, those sensors are inductive, not magnetic. They work with anything that conducts current, like your aluminum rims. They often are not set correctly sensitive enough to detect bicycle rims (or the frame if it's steel or aluminum or magnesium) but there are positions where the rims are more likely to be detected. Where I live, you can often see two loops set into the pavement that meet in the middle. The most sensitive place in that configuration is to align your conductive wheels right down the middle. There are some pictures over at the following link. Often the lights will detect you if you align as shown. http://www.humantransport.org/bicycledriving/library/signals/green.htm

mindful mule said...

Thanks, John! Cool to know. I'll experiment some more...