Monday, September 29, 2014

Feds Waste $300,000 On How Humans Interact With Bicycles

Taxpayers just wasted $300,000 on a research study of how "humans interact with bicycles," because it's oh so important to know how to lower our carbon footprint.

Think this was sourced from The Onion or from one of the myriad of other satire sites? Nope.  It's woefully true. The National Science Foundation (NSF)  conducted the study from October 2009 through June 2013.

The premise for the project, which was conducted between October 2009 and 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 said in a paper publishing their interim results.

The paper said the authors had “deeper questions” about how people control bikes, and argued that no designs in the last century have been made with “desired handling qualities.”

“Even the simplest models of a bicycle with a rigidly attached rider have yet to be completely understood,” the researchers wrote.

“If successful, this research will improve the fundamental understanding of how humans interact with bicycles and will help pave the way to the design of bicycles for a wider population and for a wider range of tasks,” they added.

The rest on the Washington Free Beacon

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