Sorry for the lack of posts this week. The boss has been down. That always keeps me busy. Evening times are tied up with client dinners. Since the boss is out of town, he's got nothing to occupy him in an empty hotel room. So we take people to dinner. The good news is that it means a great meal at company expense. The bad news is that dinners go to 7:30 or 8 PM. Since the restaurants are in Portland, that means an hour and 15 minutes to get home afterwards.
I'm ashamed to say it, but I only rode two days this week. For one thing, the boss flies down. Which means I drive. He's pretty good about my riding a bike for work. Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven't been able to convince him to ride pillion! Oh well. The other thing is that I can enjoy a beer or two with the meal. If I'm riding, it's a self-imposed rule written in stone. No alcohol. Period.
Today I'm sitting in front of the laptop catching up on reports. I needed a break so it was a perfect time to slip in a post. In another few minutes I have to attend a webinar that will last two hours. More computer screen time.
I rode on Monday to the Big City. As much as I'd like to take back roads, it works out better for time and distance to travel the freeway. Yeah, it's boring, but it's seat time. Other commuters are bored, too, it seems. I passed a guy in a small Subaru sedan. He had a small, round, head. Not much chin to speak of. Sticking out the back of his head was a ponytail. I wonder if the act of pulling his hair back into the ponytail shortened his jawbone? One thing for sure is that the ponytail must have been putting undue pressure on his brain. This guy was doing a crossword puzzle while driving. Propped onto the steering wheel was a book of puzzles. A pen was in his hand.
I'm pretty sure he didn't actually have the multi-tasking skills for this. Watching in my mirrors, I'd see the car twitch like he'd drifted and corrected quickly. One time he went over two lanes. The car twitched again and went back right one lane. I was tempted to turn him in but let it go. None of the news stations I listen to reported a wreck so I hope all turned out well.
Last week or so I did a post on motorcycle ABS. I'd heard a rumor that Honda was going to install ABS on all its bikes in the next couple of years. So I hunted it down and found the source. Honda had a report issued in May of this year. The rumor is true. The photo above is of Honda's CEO as he's delivering the speech. Honda has big plans to become more efficient in producing cars and motorcycles. Secondly, they want to be more "green". Thirdly, there's plans to incorporate more safety features into their vehicles.
Here's the quote from the report on the ABS.
"In the area of safety technology, Honda will install a motorcycle airbag system and ABS (Antilock Brake System) on more products. Honda plans to install ABS in all 250cc or larger class models worldwide, except off-road models, by the end of 2010.
In advanced nations, Honda will introduce its innovative environmental and safety technologies including a Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system for motorcycles which significantly improves fuel efficiency as well as electronically-controlled combined ABS (C-ABS), an advanced brake system which further improves stability while braking. Moreover, Honda will improve the product attractiveness of medium-to-large size models and strengthen those aspects of a product which contribute to the joy of riding .
Motorcycle R&D will also be strengthened with a determination and passion to create the Super Cub of the next generation. "
So it seems this even includes the Rebel!
Interestingly, Honda attributes a lot of its success and strength to motorcycle production.
It's not listed in this report, but Honda is also working on navigational systems that will incorporate safety features. I read about a system that will issue a warning when another vehicle gets within a certain proximity. Kind of like the military's bogie warning systems! When a talented Japanese company like Honda puts its collective mind to something, the results should be impressive! Here's some information from that report.
"Honda has demonstrated motorcycle safety technology for the first time at an automotive technology event in Germany earlier this month.
Silicon.com's Julian Goldsmith reports Honda's motorcycle technology is in line with UK government initiatives launched in July to encourage manufacturers to consider motorcycle safety and put together an assessment program.
According to the government, motorcycles account for one per cent of road traffic, but account for 20 per cent of those killed on the road.
Honda cites an EU funded research project called the Motorcycle In-Depth Study published in 1999, which found of the 88 percent of motorcycle accidents caused by human error, 38 percent were due to the motorcyclist and 50 percent were the fault of the other driver.
Of the latter, the majority of accidents occurred because of perception failures (failing to see the motorcycle) or comprehension failures (not recognizing the approaching object as a motorcycle) or decision failures (failing to assess the speed of the oncoming motorcycle and pulling out).
A significant proportion of motorcycle accidents involve an oncoming vehicle either pulling out of a minor road on a junction into the path of the motorcycle, or crossing into the path of an oncoming motorcycle to turn right from a major road into a minor road.
Honda's main safety feature generates warnings to both vehicles as they are approaching each other by delivering continuous positioning data over the GPS network.
Honda says the Vehicle2Vehicle (V2V) system will work with its vehicles and those of eight other manufacturers and it is participating in projects in Europe, Japan and the US.
The warning indicator display varies in intensity, color and position of the lights to inform the rider of the seriousness and direction of the hazard ahead. A further enhancement of the system is a spoken warning relayed to the rider's helmet via Bluetooth connection.
Other safety initiatives include this riding simulator that can be used for training learner motorcyclists before they get out on the road. The trainer puts the student through a number of safety exercises.
Another safety feature going into the manufacturer's production of Super Sports bikes for the first time this year is electronically controlled Combined ABS, to provide enhanced braking capability in a wide range of road conditions. "
I finally have a weekend off. Katie's been neglected because I've spent so many weekends teaching. Trying desperately to remember to keep things balanced, I'm going to devote some time to worshipping her!
Stay tuned for next week. There are several interesting topics coming up here. In the meantime you can read the entire report from Honda here.
Miles and smiles,