Comment 71416

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 18, 2011 at 12:42:10

Two notes about the physics involved.

a) Adrian's post is absolutely correct. "Breaking inertia" below 5km/h takes an extraordinary amount of energy compared to maintaining a cruising speed. That's why you can duct tape a stopped car to a tree with 1-3 wraps and totally prevent it from driving off, but can't stop a moving car with a foot or two thick wall of duct tape (Mythbusters). Cars use a lot of gasoline doing this and cyclists use a lot of energy, meaning that anything that anything which safely eliminates full stops (roundabouts, Idaho Stops etc) can save a lot of time and energy for everybody.

b) To put things in perspective, a car which is ten times the mass of a cyclist/bike and travelling at twice the speed will hit a fixed object with forty times the cyclist's energy. Force is mass times the square of speed, after all, meaning that cars can do many times the damage and require far more stopping distance.

Suggesting that cyclists be licensed or heavily policed because of the rules applied to cars because of their inherent dangers is like arguing that all owners of baseball bats, rocks and slingshots be required to get FACs, since after all, it's not fair to gun owners that they can have unregistered weapons. Or perhaps it's more like putting everybody's university tuition up to the level of doctors and lawyers, since it isn't fair to them that others can work with less years of expensive training. Whichever way you look at it, it's absurd. We've catered to the highest common denominator far too long here.

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