Monday, September 13, 2010

40 Blocks of Green Lights

the video only lasts 38 blocks, but the lights were near-green for 40, honest

Rode SWMNBN the road bike down the Washington Street bike lane to downtown Phoenix on Sunday morning. Traffic was nonexistent, and the lights were almost completely green the whole way.  I made good time--riding 40 blocks in 12 minutes is one of those things that I tell people is very feasible, but turns out to be an alien concept to non-cyclists. In traffic, it easily takes that long to drive a car that far, so the concept of a guy doing that on a bicycle just seems unfathomable to them. So, I made a video to show them it's possible. As long as every light is green. Or in this case maybe not 100% pure green but close enough to not slow me down much.

Along the way, I also saw these relatively new buildings that are part of a school. By "relatively new," I mean, since the light rail was constructed, and also since g00gl3 maps took photos of it. That's the light rail power supply running across the top of the photo. It's 750V DC which is converted by an ETRIS S2000 3-phase onboard traction inverter to 3x533V AC at 1200Hz and a nominal 500 A to make those puppies hum.

Earth and Jupiter not to scale. Relative orbits also not to scale. Moons of Jupiter and Earth: location unknown.

On g00gl3, it's just an empty lot. Now, though, it's Earth, and Jupiter. Cool! I never had buildings like that in high school. I wonder if they banish the weird kids to the Jupiter building. That's where I would have hung out. Earth is boring. If they had given me a beanbag chair near the Great Red Spot, a Walkman, and a good book, I would have been set. If there's any logic to it, they teach Earth Sciences in Earth, Geology, Weather, Geography, etc, and Astronomy, Cosmology, Astrobiology, Physics, etc in Jupiter. That's if there's any logic to it. In fact, they probably teach Music and Statistics in Jupiter, and Art and Shop in Earth. Because there's rarely any logic to it. The way school budgets are currently, they probably had to sell the Great Red Spot space for a Coca Cola ad.

Finally, check out this video of a light rail train passing me as I was waiting to to turn left at a light. I was not surprised by its approach, since the light, the sound of the train coming, and its pleasant little beep beep all let a cyclist aware of his surroundings know that a train was coming. Still, the street-level light rail train is up close and personal, isn't it? I was more worried about getting the right angle on those rails with my skinny tires as I turned. Get up. Go ride.



  1. JRA, haulin A in the drops!
    Interesting lane change at around five, was that to put you on the other side of the rail?
    I can't imagine going so far without a red!
    I like them round buildings!
    Nice video to start the morning, thanks!

  2. limom - the bike lane goes over thataway, switching sides via a pseudo-bike box, easy to do on a Sunday morning, but possibly bothersome when you get to this green light and (I think) have to wait for the green light going the other way, then wait again? How the heck does that work?

  3. We can't be having no bicycle dude flying down the road, passing all them cars!
    I think they put in a chicane to slow you down.

  4. wow those planetary things are way cool.
    I think with 40 blocks you'd probably could cross the whole city here in SF LOL

  5. m e l i - I never know what I'm going to run into out there riding around. There I was spinning along a not-very-pretty road, and BAM! Planets?! Whoa! And I bet I would see a few more cyclists in 40 blocks of crossing SF.


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