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    The thin waxing crescent Moon shines with Venus on Friday the 15th. . .

    Friday, June 15
    As twilight fades after sunset, look very low in the west-northwest for the thin crescent Moon under Venus. Notice how Gemini (twins Castor and Pollux) are sliding lower below the western horizon each successive evening. Cancer is in between Gemini and Leo but faint and hard to see. Leo (the Lion) is the next visible constellation in the zodiac that will soon (next few weeks) begin it's decent into the western horizon at sunset. By then, Gemini will be rising out of the eastern horizon at sunrise in the morning. The Sun will have 'appeared' to have passed through Gemini. (360 degrees in a circle. 365 days in a year. Almost exactly one degree per day so one month (zodiac sign) equals 30 days (give or take).

    Sunday, June 17
    The crescent Moon, far upper left of Venus, shines near Regulus tonight.

    Thursday, June 21
    The June solstice arrives at 6:07 a.m. EDT, marking the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This is when the Sun is at its farthest north in the sky and begins its six-month return southward. It's the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day in the Southern. If you have a good view of the west-northwest horizon (from mid-northern latitudes), mark precisely where the Sun sets. In a few days you should be able to detect that it's again starting to set a little south of that point.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2018 edited
    So it is Venus that has been lighting up the evening sky!
    (Leo looks like a tri-bike with aero bars to me.)

    GTB, This one makes me think of Aries the Ram

    Google doodle representing Denmark in the World Cup.

    Gooooal! (Earlier today, Denmark 1 - Peru 0)
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2018
    I'm not really following the World Cup, but we've already seen Argentina humbled by Iceland, Germany humbled by Mexico, and Brazil humbled by Switzerland. Could be interesting in the later rounds if this keeps up.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2018 edited
    If your personal vehicle weighs more than you do, put it underground...
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2018 edited
    Why Little Vehicles Will Conquer the City

    This movement was previously squashed in USA & Canada by relegating a similar type of small vehicle (see Dynasty Electric Car) to 35 MPH and lower streets and then promptly raising the speed limits on most city streets to 40 MPH or more (thank you 85th percentile). So instead of funding infrastructure for more human scale vehicles, we continue to focus on enlarging, expanding and accelerating the proliferation of high speed asphalt speedways for vehicles that consume massive resources and destroy everything in their path. It will be interesting to see what barriers will be manufactured this time.
    death  barge
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018
    China has decent EV's selling for $5000 a pop after massive subsidies. In some cases you can't even register a gasoline vehicle in some cities.

    General Motors will start selling a tiny electric car in China this week that will cost about $5,300 after national and local electric vehicle incentives, according to GM.

    The E100, which is Baojun's first electric car, is powered by a single 39-horsepower electric motor and has a top speed of 62 miles an hour. The E100 can drive about 96 miles on a fully charged battery, according to GM (GM).
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2018 edited
    If I could convert to 650B wheels and put a basket on the front, thought this would make a great little EV:

    The full Moon comes with a Saturn sidekick on Wednesday the 27th. As always, the Moon is drawn here three times its actual apparent size, and it's positioned for a skywatcher at latitude 40° north, 90° west: near the middle of North America.

    Saturday, June 23
    The bright "star" twirling about with the Moon tonight is Jupiter. Although they look rather close together, Jupiter is currently 1,800 times farther away — and it's 40 times larger in diameter. Jupiter (magnitude –2.4, in Libra) shines in the south in twilight and starts to decline in the southwest later in the evening. It's still 42 arcseconds in equatorial diameter.

    Wednesday, June 27
    Full Moon (exact at 8:53 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time). The Moon shines only a degree or two from Saturn this evening for North America. Companions they may seem to be, but Saturn is currently 3,400 times farther away. And it's 35 times wider in true diameter. Saturn (magnitude 0.0, just above the Sagittarius Teapot) glows low in the southeast in twilight. It stands highest in the south around 1 a.m. daylight-saving time, 34° to the upper right of much brighter Mars. Appearing so close to an exactly full Moon, Saturn of course must be very close to opposition! And indeed it is. Saturn was at opposition earlier today, around 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. By late evening, Saturday, June 30, the Moon and Mars are arisen together, low in the east-southeast.

    Mars, (a dramatic magnitude –1.9 in Capricornus), rises only about an hour after dark now. Watch for it to come up 34° lower left of Saturn. Mars is highest in the south, in best view for telescopes, just before the first light of dawn. Mars is having widespread dust storm! Dust has enveloped much of the planet (though reports of it being "global" are exaggerated), obscuring many major dark surface features and reducing contrast for many others. There are signs that the storm is losing strength, but poor visibility of much of the surface should persist for a long time.

    Mars is brightening on its way to an unusually close opposition at the end of July. It's now 19 or 20 arcseconds wide — bigger than right at most of its oppositions! — and gibbous. It will grow to 24.3 arcseconds for the week around its closest approach on the night of July 30–31.

    Mars, now brighter than Sirius and a distinctive fiery hue, climbs above the tree line in the southeastern sky on June 10th. The planet rises late — around 11:00 PM local time in late-June — and is best observed in early dawn when it stands due south on the meridian.
    (image by Bob King)

    Next month, July 2018, the full moon will appear next to a very bright red Mars as it reaches opposition. For viewers in Africa and the Middle East, there will be a total lunar eclipse. How cool would it be to see the very bright full moon, eclipsed to a reddish hue by the earth's shadow for an hour, with a very bright Mars right next to it? Wow! It will be out of view for North America but there will be some cool images and streaming video to follow. Stay tuned.

    You can follow these three planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, across the sky from west to east, one after the other. They are all relatively bright, each being so close to opposition. Be opportunistic when riding your bike and look skyward each clear night. Maybe find a hidden place with very little light pollution or a grassy park on which to lay back on. You never know if or when the June gloom will roll in and obscure your viewing. Watch as the Moon moves eastward through the zodiac night to night, passing these obviously bright planets as it does so. Let's hope for clear skies!
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018 edited
    "I am a believer in that portion of the Declaration of American Independence in which it is set forth, as among self-evident truths, "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Hence, I am an abolitionist."
    - William Lloyd Garrison.

    On July 4th 1854, the Anti-Slavery Society met in a small grove in Framingham, Massachusetts to protest the hypocrisy of celebrating America’s independence while participating in the practice of American Slavery. After a series of passionate speeches from noted abolitionists including Sojourner Truth and Henry David Thoreau, William Lloyd Garrison, burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution and galvanized the abolitionist movement.

    Today, our fight is against the revolving door of the criminal justice system approximately 76.6% of all released prisoners will be rearrested within 5 years of their release. Such recidivism often contributes to crime, mass incarceration, homelessness and generational poverty.

    We seek to do more than just make quality products. We want to make a difference.

    By the Fall of 2018, we will move into our new facility where we plan to hire, train, certify and provide living wage employment to more than two dozen people, including the formerly incarcerated. There, we will begin to design, build, and repair a fleet of handcrafted electric bicycles, here in America.

    Your purchases will help us to achieve that goal.

    It’s our heritage as abolitionists.

    The 1854 Cycling Company. Freedom & Power.

    Going from the western horizon at sunset toward the east along the ecliptic. Follow the Moon as it moves from planet to planet over the course of the next few weeks. Mars will be at it's brightest the week before and the week after July 26, 2018 when it is at opposition.

    On Saturday evening the 14th, try to catch the thin crescent Moon above Mercury very low in bright twilight. Binoculars help.

    Mercury (about magnitude +0.2) is visible in bright twilight very low in the west-northwest, about 16° lower right of Venus. Catch Mercury in the narrow time window between when the sky is still too bright and when Mercury sinks too low and sets.

    Venus (magnitude –4.1, in Leo) shines brightly in the west during twilight, a trace lower every day. In a telescope Venus is a gibbous disk 17 arcseconds tall and 67% sunlit.

    Jupiter (magnitude –2.3, in Libra) shines in the south-southwest in twilight and declines in the southwest later in the evening. This week it shrinks from 41 to 40 arcseconds wide. The Moon is 1.3 light-seconds distant from us, and Jupiter is 44 light-minutes in its background. The two stars of Alpha Librae are 77 light-years behind them.

    Saturn (magnitude +0.1, just above the Sagittarius Teapot) glows in the southeast in twilight and higher in the south by midnight. It's 34° to the upper right of much brighter Mars. The Moon shines with Saturn tonight, as shown here. Saturn, the most distant bright planet, is 3,420 times farther away and 35 times as wide.

    See Mars at Its Best Since 2003
    Bob King July 24, 2018
    We've waited 15 long years, and now it's time to party. Mars reaches perihelic opposition — coming its closest to both the Sun and Earth at the same time — on July 27th. This hasn't happened since August 2003, meaning that Mars is bigger and bolder in the night sky than it's been in more than a decade.

    Thursday, July 26, 2018
    Mars is at opposition tonight, opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. It will actually be closest to Earth, and its absolute biggest and brightest, four days from now on the night of the 30th. But really, the difference between now and then is so tiny it'll be undetectable. Enjoy!

    Mars will be easy to spot low in the southeastern sky in late evening. On the night of the 27th, it will be joined by the full Moon.
    Sky & Telescope / Gregg Dinderman

    Mars is the "star" planet of the summer (see post above: June 25, 2018) — and it comes to opposition at the end of this week! It's a firespot blazing like nothing else in the late-night sky. At magnitude –2.7 or –2.8, it's a half magnitude brighter than even Jupiter. And its color lends it extra drama.

    Mars and its reflection look serene on a recent night, rising in the east.
    (Notice second brightest planet in this image, Saturn, above the Sagittarius "teapot" toward the upper right; and it's reflection in the water.)
    Bob King

    Spot Mars appearing low in the southeast near the end of twilight. After dark it rises higher and shifts southward, a weird anomaly like no celestial object you normally see. Mars is highest in the south, in best telescopic view, around 1 a.m. daylight-saving time, though it's at a southerly declination (—26°) in southern Capricornus. Mars is nearly at its closest, biggest and brightest. It will maintain its peak size of 24.3 arcseconds for about a week around its closest approach on the night of July 30-31, 2018.

    Friday, July 27, 2018
    Full Moon (exact at 1:20 p.m. PDT). Full Moon is opposition Moon, so it shines with brilliant Mars, which is just a day past its opposition. Mars is 143 times farther from us than the Moon (and twice as large). Total eclipse of the Moon, but not for the Americas! (or Hawaii). The best views will be from Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. This will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, with totality lasting 1 hour 43 minutes. Next to reddish Mars, the Moon will turn from white to (presumably) a much redder hue and then back to white during the almost two hour event.

    The June/July gloom seems to have ended and we're fortunate to have clear nights again (barring any fire smoke). If you're out and about on your bikes, under the night time dome of stars and planets, be sure to notice the changing celestial display. The Sun has started it's journey southward and will pass the 'due west' point on the September 21st Equinox. The bright planets are migrating westward into the evening sunset more and more each day. Venus is getting brighter as it swings around between the Sun and Earth. Jupiter and Saturn are fading slowly as is Mars as Earth speeds away from them in our faster, inner orbit.

    The Sun now appears to be "in Leo" as seen from Earth. Virgo is just above the sunSET point in the western evening sky and Cancer is emerging just above the sunRISE point in the eastern, morning sky. As Earth continues around the Sun in it's yearly cycle, Virgo sinks into the Sun by 1 degree each day. 30 Degrees = 30 days = 1 month = one zodiac constellation (give or take a smidgen).

    This is also the time of year when Sirius, the dog star (also the brightest night time star in all the sky), rises out of the sunRise point in the morning sky. The dog days of summer refer to this yearly event. This ancient knowledge was used to predict the flooding of the Nile River and the time to get ready to plant crops there. (I'm very old school!) For us in SoCal, it's fire season and doggedly hot. Time for dog beach.

    The evening crescent Moon marks another lunar cycle gone by and so another constellation of the zodiac (Leo) has sunk into the Sun. Virgo is next to set into the western horizon. Next month, we'll see Leo emerging in the dawn sky, rising out of the Sun just before sunrise. The thin crescent Moon waxes through Virgo whenever it's August.

    Tuesday, August 14:
    The waxing crescent Moon shines over Venus in twilight. Look left of the Moon for fainter Spica. Farther upper left of Spica shines bright Jupiter (out of the frame here). The Moon will march eastward above these celestial landmarks for the next three nights.

    Saturday, August 18:
    Lined up nearly vertically below the Moon this evening are the stars marking the head of Scorpius. Lower left of the Moon is brighter Antares, one of the brightest orange-red supergiant stars in the sky.(Antares means 'rival of Mars'. Can you see any similarities in the color or brightness between the two?) Farther left of the Moon are Jupiter, Saturn, and then bright Mars.

    Jupiter (magnitude –2.0, in Libra) shines in the southwest in twilight. It's between Spica about 20° to its lower right and the head of Scorpius nearly as far to its left.

    Saturn (magnitude +0.2, above the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot) glows yellow in the south at nightfall, almost 30° to the right or upper right of much brighter Mars. In a telescope Saturn's rings remain tilted 26° to our line of night, as open as we ever see them.

    Mars is beginning to fade very slightly, from magnitude –2.8 when it was closest to Earth around the turn of the month to –2.6 now. On the other hand, it rises higher in the southeast earlier in the evening. Mars is at its highest in the south around 11 or midnight daylight-saving time, though it's not very high at all for us mid-northern observers; it's at a very southerly declination (–26°) in southern Capricornus. Mars also shrinks very slightly this week, from 24 to 23 arcseconds wide — really not enough to notice. Take advantage of Mars this large while you can! It won't appear this big again until 2035.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2018
    I spent the evening of the 10th watching meteors under a perfect Idaho sky with Mars shining bright. It was awesome!
    New Moon, cool, elevated and clear, dark skies, for just about peak Perseid time. Nice!
    Any views of the Milky Way? From so far north, it can be challenging to see Scorpius, Sagittarius and the Milky Way so far to the south and thus very low (as is Mars).
    Dark skies and a clear, low southern horizon help.

    Viewers pointing toward red Antares in Scorpius with the 'teapot' of Sagittarius to the left.
    The Milky Way runs south through them above. (Ali Matinfar image)
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2018

    Milky Way was visible for sure, but nothing like in that pic. Wow.

    Monday, August 20, 2018: Saturn is the "star" left of the Moon this evening, as shown.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2018:
    The waxing gibbous Moon shines upper right of Mars this evening. Unlike Mars, the Moon lies in a nearly straight line with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus (running from the right of the Moon very far to the west). To see how straight this line really is, hold a yardstick or a tightly stretched string along it. Why is this so? The Moon is nearly on the ecliptic tonight, but Mars is a good 6.1° south of the ecliptic.

    Saturday, August 25, 2018:
    Full Moon tonight and tomorrow (it's exactly full at 4:56 a.m. August 26th Pacific Daylight Time). This evening the Moon shines far left of Mars; they're on opposite sides of Capricornus.

    "Objective reality exists. Facts are often determinable. Vaccines save lives. Carbon dioxide warms the globe. Science and reason are not a political conspiracy. They are how we determine facts. Civilization's survival depends on our ability, and willingness, to do this."
    — Alan MacRobert, Sky at a Glance editor
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2018
    Old Knotty Buoy:

    "Objective reality exists. Facts are often determinable. Vaccines save lives. Carbon dioxide warms the globe. Science and reason are not a political conspiracy. They are how we determine facts. Civilization's survival depends on our ability, and willingness, to do this."
    — Alan MacRobert, Sky at a Glance editor

    I look forward to the day when such statements will not be necessary, but for now, they are. Thanks OKB.

    As dawn brightens on Saturday morning the 8th, the waning crescent Moon points down to Mercury. Mercury is dropping very low in the glow of sunrise. The Moon passes between the Sun and Earth on Sunday (New Moon) and will reappear in the evening sky around the 11th or 12th at sunset (dusk) next week.

    Four bright planets still shine during evening twilight, though one is getting very low and tricky. From west to east, they are Venus very low in the west-southwest, Jupiter upper left of Venus, Saturn higher in the south, and Mars well to the east of Saturn. Best viewing time that includes Venus: 30 or 40 minutes after sunset.

    Sunday, September 9
    Mars shines fire-color in the south-southeast after dusk. New Moon (exact at 11:01 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time).

    Tide Times for San Diego
    Very high tides in the evening this time of year, around the time of the New Moon. If you're out and about, riding the bays or shore fronts, notice the extreme high's around 8:00 to 10:00 PM depending on the day. The following negative low tides are always extreme as well. They usually follow ~ 6 hours later and provide lots of hard sandy beach for balloon tire beach cruisers. Avoid low lying areas that are flooded. The salt water will aggressively corrode your steel frames, e-bike motors, dyno-hubs and other such bits and bobs. Next high Spring Tide at San Diego will be on Saturday 08 September: 9:11 PM (height:2.20m = 7.2ft). (Spring Tide doesn't refer to the season, but to the spring-like gravitational pull of the aligned masses of the Sun, Moon and Earth. A good indicator of coming sea level rise.)

    Monday, September 10
    Before the Moon comes back into the evening sky later this week, make the most of observing the Milky Way in however dark a sky you have. When Deneb crosses your zenith in mid-evening, you know the Milky Way does too — running straight up from the southwest horizon and straight down to the northeast horizon.

    A thin crescent Moon pairs nicely first with Venus and then Jupiter during the second week of September. Watch the waxing Moon step eastward above Venus, Jupiter, and Antares day by day. (New Moon on the 9th, then 7 days to first-quarter Moon; 14 days to Full Moon; 21 days to third-quarter Moon and 28 days back to New Moon = a full lunar cycle, once around the Earth.)

    Friday, September 14
    In twilight, catch the crescent Moon in the southwest with Jupiter to its lower right. A line from the Moon through Jupiter points toward Venus, much lower. (look far to Jupiter's lower right to catch Venus before it sets.)

    As Venus orbits around the Sun, it is getting to the point (left side here) where it will pass between the Earth and the Sun (inferior conjunction). It will re-emerge in the morning sky becoming the 'morning star", west of the Sun, in early November. It will climb higher in the eastern, morning sky very quickly through the New Year.

    Venus (magnitude –4.7) shines low in the west-southwest in evening twilight and sets before twilight is over. Find it lower right of Jupiter; their separation diminishes from 20° to 16° this week. In a telescope Venus is a crescent about 1/3 sunlit and 33 arcseconds tall.

    Mars, between Capricornus and Sagittarius, continues to fade in magnitude/brightness, but still brighter than Sirius (brightest star in the night sky). Mars shines at its highest in the south for the two hours after dark.

    Jupiter (in Libra) shines in the southwest in twilight, lower every week.

    Saturn (above the spout-tip of the Sagittarius Teapot) glows yellow in the south at nightfall, well to the west (right) of brighter Mars.

    This year, September’s equinox takes place on the 22nd at 6:54 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. At that moment the Sun shines directly overhead as seen from the equator. Days and nights are both 12 hours long — that’s where the word equinox comes from — and no matter where you live on planet Earth, the Sun rises due east and sets due west.

    As the Moon waxes through first quarter, it moves eastward daily over Jupiter, Scorpius, Saturn, and the Sagittarius Teapot...

    …and by Wednesday September 19th, the Moon hangs over Mars during twilight. (In these scenes the Moon is always shown three times its actual apparent size, and it's positioned for an observer near the middle of North America - exactly for latitude 40° north, longitude 90° west.)

    Wednesday, September 19
    The Moon and Mars travel across the southern sky together this evening. Mars is currently 200 times farther away than the Moon. Find Saturn almost three fists to their right or lower right. Saturn is almost 20 times farther now than Mars.

    Friday, September 21
    The closing days of summer (the equinox is tomorrow) always find the Sagittarius Teapot moving west of south during evening and tipping increasingly far over to the right, as if pouring out the last of summer.

    Saturday, September 22
    The September equinox occurs at 6:54 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, when the Sun crosses the equator heading south for the season. This moment marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. And the Sun sets almost exactly due west.

    Monday, September 24
    Harvest Full Moon (exact at 7:52 p.m. PDT). The Moon rises almost exactly due east (opposite the Sun) soon after sunset.

    Venus (magnitude –4.7) shines very low in the west-southwest in evening twilight and sets before twilight is over. Don't confuse it with Jupiter, which will probably catch your attention first. Venus is to Jupiter's lower right, and brighter. Their separation diminishes slightly this week, from 16° to 14°.

    Mars, in southern Capricornus, fades from magnitude –1.7 to –1.5 this week, still a trace brighter than Sirius. It shines highest in the south about an hour after dark and sets around 2 a.m.

    Jupiter (magnitude –1.8, in Libra) shines ever lower in the southwest in twilight, upper left of Venus.

    Saturn (magnitude +0.4, above the spout-tip of the Sagittarius Teapot) glows yellow in the south at dusk, well to the right of brighter Mars. It sets by midnight.
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2018
    Bike commuting in a brand new pair of Levis does slow down one's speed a bit.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2018 edited
    Trackless tram.
    Autonomous Rail Transit
    Viable solution for San Diego airport connector?


    All week, Saturn and the Sagittarius Teapot are getting low in the south-southwest at nightfall.

    Scorpius is sinking into the Sun and Sagittarius will soon follow next month (see Sept 17 above). Notice how the 'teapot' seems to tip more and more as it sets into the western horizon, as if it is pouring the Milky Way out of it's spout. Just like Leo, when Sagittarius remerges in the morning sky, the spout will then be pointing upward. It's all just a matter of apparent perspective. The constellations remain the same always, just 'appear' to be oriented differently relative to the east, south or western horizon against which they are viewed.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2018
    Last-quarter Moon (exact at 5:45 a.m. on this date). Tonight, the Moon rises around midnight or 1 a.m. in Gemini. Before dawn Wednesday morning, you'll find it shining high with Pollux and Castor to its upper left and Procyon farther to its lower right.

    The waning crescent Moon passes Leo in early dawn. Leo is 'leaping' out of the sunrise (heliacal rising) and will get 1 degree higher, progressively each day, as the coming autumn & winter months pass. (See July 11, 2018 above for Leo diving into the sunset in the evening sky. It has now reemerged in the morning sky, leaping upward. Venus will join it in a month or two.)

    New Moon October 8th, 2018.

    Naked eye planets visible from just above the sunset in the west to mid sky, due south.

    Venus (magnitude –4.8, still at its peak brilliancy) shines very low in the west-southwest after sunset and sets in mid-twilight. Don't confuse it with Jupiter, which will catch your eye first. Venus is 14° to Jupiter's lower right.

    Jupiter (magnitude –1.8, in Libra) shines ever lower in the southwest in twilight, 14° upper left of very low Venus.

    Saturn (magnitude +0.5, above the spout-tip of the Sagittarius Teapot) glows pale yellow in the south-southwest at dusk, getting low. It's three or four fists at arm's length to the lower right of brighter Mars.

    Mars, in southern Capricornus, fades from magnitude –1.3 to –1.1 this week. It shines highest in the south soon after dark and sets around 1 or 2 a.m.
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2018
    The United States consumes nearly five times as much gasoline and drives nearly twice as far as other advanced democracies while charging the least amount for gasoline.

    And Americans spend a greater % of income on gas than the rest of the world.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2018 edited
    And Americans spend a greater % of income on gas than the rest of the world.

    Can that be attributed to "petroleum stupor"?
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2018
    And Americans spend a greater % of income on gas than the rest of the world.

    Can that be attributed to "petroleum stupor"?

    Sub-standard mass transit and a preference for ginormous gas hogs.

    FWIW: I get by with bike+train from Monday thru Friday in Los Angeles. It has decent mass transit.

    Much harder in San Diego. I actually live in Carlsbad. If I took a job in say, Poway, there's no really good multi-mode way of getting there. In LA I could live in North Hollywood and work in Santa Monica and there's good mass transit resulting in short bike rides.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2018
    I get people custom wheelchairs for a living. The average power wheelchair weighs about 300lbs. I need to deliver these items with my truck, as opposed to my bike or mass transit. I don't see why folks like me or our small business should be penalized via higher gas prices to subsidize people who have NO excuse not to take public transit or bike. Maybe another kind of license or registration that lowers or eliminates car registration fees if you actually use it for work, instead of just getting to and from there?
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2018
    t.e.d: I don't see why folks like me or our small business should be penalized via higher gas prices to subsidize people who have NO excuse not to take public transit or bike. Maybe another kind of license or registration that lowers or eliminates car registration fees if you actually use it for work, instead of just getting to and from there?
    SUV and light-duty truck makers reap billions from tax loophole: Gas-guzzler tax exemption is a $10.2 billion subsidy for Most Polluting Vehicles.

    Trucking Industry Imposes Up to $128 Billion in Costs on Society Each Year

    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2018
    t.e.d: I don't see why folks like me or our small business should be penalized via higher gas prices to subsidize people who have NO excuse not to take public transit or bike. Maybe another kind of license or registration that lowers or eliminates car registration fees if you actually use it for work, instead of just getting to and from there?
    SUV and light-duty truck makers reap billions from tax loophole: Gas-guzzler tax exemption is a $10.2 billion subsidy for Most Polluting Vehicles.

    Trucking Industry Imposes Up to $128 Billion in Costs on Society Each Year

    All due respect, Sigurd, but I don't see how those links are relevant to my point. I am well aware that the auto-makers and trucking industry are not aligned with our interests here on this site, and are doing all they can to preserve an oil-based economy. This doesn't help people like me, who would jump at the chance to purchase a hybrid Sprinter or similar fuel-efficient vehicle for the necessary deliveries. I've actually given this a lot of thought and I keep getting bummed out by the increasing use of home-delivery by lazy people.

    Again, my industry is a tiny sliver of what I deem to be necessary delivery-vehicle use. Along with most of the service industry like plumbers, construction services, etc... I still don't see how penalizing a small company that is trying hard to do good work for society fits into the larger goal of reducing motor vehicle use by the average commuting worker.
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2018
    One bit of good news on the truck front. Lots of EV delivery trucks are now being released.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2018 edited
    t.e.d:I get people custom wheelchairs for a living. The average power wheelchair weighs about 300lbs. I need to deliver these items with my truck, as opposed to my bike or mass transit.

    Would this help?

    The waxing crescent Moon returns to evening twilight sky, posing with Jupiter and then Saturn.
    The visibility of fainter objects in bright twilight is exaggerated here.

    Monday, October 8, 2018
    New Moon (exact at 8:47 p.m. PDT).

    Thursday, October 11, 2018
    As twilight fades, a thin crescent Moon hangs over Jupiter low in the southwest.

    Friday, October 12, 2018
    Looking lower left of the crescent Moon in twilight, can you spot orange Antares, the 'heart' of Scorpius? For North Americans it's about 8° from the Moon, a little less than a fist at arm's length. Off to the right of Antares shines brighter Jupiter.

    The Moon passing Saturn . . .

    Sunday, October 14
    The "star" near the Moon tonight is Saturn, 3,900 times farther away.

    Wednesday, October 17
    The Moon this evening shines to the right (west) of Mars, 260 times farther away.

    . . . and then it passes Mars.

    Thursday, October 18
    Now the Moon shines left (east) of Mars.

    Mercury and Venus are lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Jupiter (in Libra) is very low in the west-southwest in mid-twilight and sets before twilight's end.
    Saturn (in Sagittarius) glows yellow in the south-southwest in late dusk. It's about four fists at arm's length to the lower right of Mars.
    Mars, moving eastward through central Capricornus, continues to fade in magnitude. It shines highest in the south soon after dark and sets around 1 a.m.
    Very good chance of a Green Flash at sunset this evening. Off shore winds will push the marine haze and dust out over the far western horizon so there is a very distinct horizon line between sky and sea. The flash occurs as the last 1/10th of the sun finally disappears below the horizon. Avoid looking at the Sun until it is just about gone, so you don't bleach out your eyes. Ride your bike to the beach to catch an awesome sunset and a possible Green Flash!

    San Diego, California, USA — Sunrise, Sunset Times

    An Introduction to Green Flashes ~ Andy Young SDSU
    Advice on Seeing Green Flashes
    Simulations of Green Flashes

    (Hit the browser refresh to restart the simulations. They take a moment to load.
    If that doesn't do it, you might have to close your browser and then restart it.

    Pictures of green flashes

    Simulation of the Inferior-Mirage Green Flash at Sunset

    The Omega Sunset

    Simulation of a Weak Mock-mirage Sunset

    Simulation of a Ducted Mock-mirage Sunset

    Simulation of a Blank-Strip Sunset
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018
    An Observation:

    Arguing what would be a proper minimum wage with people who oppose any minimum wage is like discussing sexual technique with celibate clergy.

    You may know who I am referring to :-)
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2018
    OKB, you are the coolest guy on the planet! :D
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2018
    Smorg:OKB, you are the coolest guy on the planet! :D

    Thanks Smorg and thanks to GTB;

    I remember Smorg posting from the Mt Laguna Observatory and mentioning Jerry Schad. I had the opportunity to attend one of his summer talks there as he guided us through the current sky. He was a good guy and taught astronomy at Mesa College.

    I worked with Andy Young on his Green Flash project at SDSU. I took hundreds of photographs of sunsets from Torrey Pines Glider Port with Andy at one height and me at another further down the cliffs. Andy and his grad students did all the numerical reductions and calculations to provide not only a qualitative analysis but a quantitative one as well.

    I would argue that the contours include the celestial sphere throughout the seasons. Ride at night and learn the constellations so you'll know your place in the universe. You won't get that knowledge in a vehicle!
    ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

    The bright Moon shines near the Pleiades and Aldebaran in the eastern sky in the evening.

    By dawn the following mornings they've moved to the high western sky, the pattern has rotated by about 90°, and the Moon has crept eastward with respect to the stars. (Note: The Moon in these scenes is always drawn three times its actual apparent size.)

    The Ghost of Summer Suns: Halloween is approaching, and this means that Arcturus, the star sparkling low in the west-northwest in twilight, has taken on its role as "the Ghost of Summer Suns." What does that mean? For several days around October 25th every year, Arcturus occupies a special place above your local landscape. It closely marks the spot where the Sun stood at the same time, by the clock, during hot June and July — in broad daylight, of course! So, as Halloween approaches every year, you can see Arcturus as the forlorn, chilly ghost of the departed summer Sun.

    Wednesday, October 31
    Laast-quarter Moon (exactly so at 9:40 a.m. PDT). The Moon, between Cancer and Leo, rises around midnight or 1 a.m. depending on your location, in the east-northeast far below Castor and Pollux.

    Saturday, November 3
    Mars shines in the south after dark. Look barely 1° east (left) of it for Delta Capricorni, only a twentieth as bright at magnitude 2.8. Tomorrow and Monday evenings they'll appear even closer: 0.6° apart. Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday in North America. Clocks fall back an hour. Showerthought: The old saying that clocks "spring forward" and "fall back" in those two seasons used to be metaphorical; you had to change the clock. But now it's literal: internet-connected clocks actually do it.

    Venus is hidden deep in the glow of sunrise. It will soon start to emerge quickly into the morning sky, getting higher each day. By late November it's very obvious as the morning star.
    Jupiter is very low after sunset, just above the southwest horizon in bright twilight. Binoculars will help. Jupiter will pass superior conjunction (far side of Sun) in the next few weeks and then follow Venus into the morning sky by mid December.
    Saturn (in Sagittarius) glows yellow, low in the south-southwest in late twilight. Saturn is sinking into the western horizon each day and will pass through superior conjunction with the Sun around the winter solstice. It too will reemerge in the morning sky in January, just more slowly than Venus.
    Mars (fading in magnitude) shines highest in the south just after the end of twilight. It continues to set around 1 a.m. The setting time stays relatively constant because Mars is moving eastward rapidly. It will pass close to delta Capricorn (see image above for Oct 17-18 reference) on November 4 and continues eastward into Aquarius and then Pisces in December.

    They should be easy to resolve with the unaided eye.

    - Saturday, November 3, 2018
    Mars shines in the south after dark. Look barely 1° east (left) of it for Delta Capricorni, only a twentieth as bright at magnitude 2.8. A similar distance lower right of Mars is Gamma Capricorni, magnitude 3.6. Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. tonight in North America; clocks fall back an hour.
    - Sunday, November 4, 2018
    Tonight and tomorrow, Mars and Delta Capricorni are only 0.6° apart.
    In Monday's dawn, spot the thin waning crescent Moon sitting cup-like low in the east-southeast. Way down under it is Venus rising.
    - Wednesday, November 7, 2018
    New Moon (exact at 8:02 a.m. Pacific STANDARD Time).

    Bring binoculars to try for Jupiter, Mercury, and maybe Antares close to the southwest horizon soon after sunset. Jupiter will soon be gone from the evening sky, to reappear in the morning sky slowly in December.

    - Thursday, November 8, 2018
    A thin crescent Moon hangs very low over Jupiter during bright twilight, as shown above. Fainter Mercury is off to their left. Binoculars help.
    - Friday, November 9, 2018
    Now the crescent Moon directs you down to Mercury and Antares after sundown. Wait too late and they'll set! Again, bring those binoculars.
    - Saturday, November 10, 2018
    The "star" glowing upper left of the crescent Moon during and after dusk is Saturn, currently 4,075 times farther away.

    *Mercury and Jupiter are very low after sunset, just above the southwest horizon in bright twilight. Bring binoculars.
    *Venus is rapidly emerging from the glow of sunrise; it's a little higher and easier to spot every morning. Look for it just above the east-southeast horizon. In a telescope Venus is a dramatically thin crescent.
    *Mars (fading in magnitude this week) shines highest in the south just after the end of twilight. It sets around midnight standard time.
    *Saturn (in Sagittarius) glows yellowly low in the southwest in late twilight, very far lower right of Mars.
    --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    Happy 84th birthday, Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996).
    "The dangers of not thinking clearly are much greater now than ever before. It's not that there's something new in our way of thinking, it's that credulous and confused thinking can be much more lethal in ways it was never before."
    — Carl Sagan, 1996

    The Jessop’s clock in Horton Plaza. Courtesy of Jessop’s

    Fall Back as Daylight Saving Time Ends
    Bike commuters, especially young student commuters should have their kit prepared with fresh batteries in their lights, reflective clothing and bags and cold/wet weather gear ready for the coming winter commutes. Reflective tape on bikes and helmets adds to visibility as well.

    The Automobile Club of Southern California warns drivers to be on the lookout for children, pedestrians and bike commuters, since it will be dark an hour earlier in the evenings. Low sun angles during both morning and evening commutes make seeing difficult so both drivers and bicyclist/pedestrians should assume they may not be seen. Slow down and proceed with caution accordingly.

    As usual, firefighters urge people to use the time change as a reminder to check smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, and thermostats and to replace the batteries if necessary. It is also a good time to reset timers on outdoor lights and lawn sprinkler systems and to check heating furnaces' pilot lights, chimneys, and air filters and to clean and change as needed.

    Most internet connected devices will reset automatically but if you’re not sure about the correct time, visit Time.Gov for the official word from the U.S. Naval Observatory’s “master clock.”

    The Seal of the USNO with a quote from the Astronomicon, Adde gubernandi studium: Pervenit in astra, et pontum caelo conjunxit, "Increase the study of navigation: it arrives in the stars, and marries the sea with heaven"
    United States Naval Observatory
    President John Quincy Adams, who in 1825 signed the bill for the creation of a national observatory just before leaving presidential office. Adams had made protracted efforts to bring astronomy to a national level at that time. He spent many nights at the observatory, watching and charting the stars, which had always been one of Adams' avocations.

    The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States, with a primary mission to produce Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) for the United States Navy and the United States Department of Defense. Former USNO director Gernot M. R. Winkler initiated the "Master Clock" service that the USNO still operates, and which provides precise time to the GPS satellite constellation run by the United States Air Force. The USNO performs radio VLBI-based positions of quasars with numerous global collaborators, in order to produce Earth Orientation parameters.

    The observatory's primary mission was to care for the United States Navy's marine chronometers, charts, and other navigational equipment. It calibrated ships' chronometers by timing the transit of stars across the meridian. Opened in 1844 in Foggy Bottom north of the present site of the Lincoln Memorial and west of the White House, the observatory moved in 1893 to its present location on a 2000-foot circle of land atop Observatory Hill overlooking Massachusetts Avenue.

    Aside from its scientific mission, a house located within the Naval Observatory complex serves as the official residence of the Vice President of the United States.

    Ports all over the world would have a local observatory to watch for the transit of particular stars (even in daylight). Knowing the date and local longitude, they could precisely calculate the time of Local Noon relative to Greenwich Observatory in England (0 degrees longitude). They would have a big black ball raised high up on a flag pole and drop it right at noon. Ship's in the harbor would notice and set their chronometers accordingly. Then once underway, the ships could reverse the calculations from their chronometers and star sightings & sextant readings to determine longitude.

    This is where the New Year's ball drop in "Time's Square" gets it's origin from. New York's harbormaster would signal each day at noon so ships about to depart could 'synchronize' their chronometers to the celestial sphere in order to have an accurate time keeping on board their vessels, and thus accurate navigation. (A certified chronometer doesn't keep exact time exactly. It's rate of running fast or slow is precise so you can accurately adjust for exact time over the course of weeks or months.)

    Belgium is a home of cycling, and its flat terrain, beautiful scenery and picturesque villages are a paradise for cycling enthusiasts.
    Cycling in Flanders

    In Flanders Fields

    In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row
    That mark our place and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
    Loved, and were loved
    And now we lie
    In Flanders Fields

    Take up our quarrel with thy foe
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die,
    We shall not rest, though poppies grow
    ​In Flanders Fields

    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2018
    Brussels isn’t flat but it’s a nice place to bike.

    Every November, the Moon is close to full when it makes its monthly pass through Taurus.

    Wednesday, November 21
    Does the Sun already seem to be setting about as early as it ever will? You're right! We're still a whole month away from the winter solstice — but the Sun sets its earliest around December 7th if you're near latitude 40° north, and right now it already sets within only about 3 minutes of that time. A surprising result of this: The Sun actually sets a trace earlier on Thanksgiving than on Christmas — even though Christmas is around solstice time! This offset from the solstice date is balanced out by the opposite happening at sunrise: the Sun doesn't come up its latest until January 4th. Blame the tilt of Earth's axis and the eccentricity of Earth's orbit.

    Thursday, November 22
    Full Moon tonight (exact at 9:29 p.m. PST). The Moon lights the eastern sky this evening, with the Pleiades faintly visible to its upper left and orange Aldebaran (the Bull's eye in Taurus) to its lower left as shown.

    Friday, November 23
    Now the Moon shines closer to Aldebaran than yesterday, and on its other side. Watch the Moon draw farther away from Aldebaran through the hours of the night.

    Saturday, November 24
    The bright waning gibbous Moon rises around the end of twilight and climbs high through the evening. It's now below the horns of Taurus: Beta (β) and fainter Zeta (ζ) Tauri.

    Venus and Spica still appear close together in the southeast in early dawn. They're widening slowly. In a telescope Venus is a dramatic crescent, thickening from 12% to 20% sunlit this week. For sharper telescopic views, follow it up higher all the way past sunrise and into the blue sky of day.

    Venus (magnitude –4.8) is the brilliant "Morning Star" in the east-southeast before and during dawn. It rises as an eerie "UFO" above the eastern horizon almost two hours before first light. As dawn begins to brighten, Venus dominates the east-southeast. To its right or upper right is Spica, only about 0.5% as bright. Their separation widens this week from 1½° to 3°. Venus reaches it's greatest illuminated extent around December 3rd with the crescent Moon just above it. More to come.

    Mars (fading in magnitude) shines highest in the south at nightfall. It sets around midnight.

    Jupiter is hidden behind the glare of the Sun.

    Saturn (in Sagittarius) is low in the southwest in twilight. You'll find it about 40° below Altair and nearly 60° to the lower right of brighter Mars.

    Tide Times for San Diego
    King Tides: Autumn 2018 - Good afternoon beach cruising at very low tides.

    Nov 22: High 7:50 AM +6.8feet Low 2:40 PM -0.7feet (Thanksgiving - Full Moon)
    Nov 23: High 8:23 AM +7.0feet Low 3:21 PM -0.9feet
    Nov 24: High 9:00 AM +7.0feet Low 3:21 PM -1.0feet
    Nov 25: High 9:40 AM +6.9feet Low 4:55 PM -0.9feet

    Dec 21: High 7:27 AM +7.0feet Low 2:30 PM -1.2feet (Winter Solstice)
    Dec 22: High 8:06 AM +7.3feet Low 3:12 PM -1.5feet (Full Moon)
    Dec 23: High 8:48 AM +7.3feet Low 3:57 PM -1.6feet
    Dec 24: High 9:33 AM +7.1feet Low 4:44 PM -1.5feet
    Dec 25: High10:21AM +6.7feet Low 5:33 PM -1.2feet
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2018 edited
    Ok... so I stopped by Performance Bicycle 7730 Ronson Rd 92111 in Ranch 99 on the way back from ABR this past weekend. This store was closing and walking through I couldn't help but reminisce. I could almost hear Hal and his son discussing the virtues of the latest Schwinn and Nishiki Tri A bikes with that skinny kid Chris Horner from Tierrasanta hard at work in back. And then later ogling the flashy yellow BikeUSA Cannondale CADD 4 frames (I bought 3, still my favorite road frame) with Looks amazing new Slice carbon fiber fork whilst San Diego's fastest Peter Kendal performed his wheel straightening magic on an alloy wheel at the work bench. And now seeing some of the impressive new boost/plus 27.5 full suspension offerings from Marin (checkout the sweet 2018 Marin Hawk Hill 3 they have on sale) along with assorted other delicious tidbits from Marin, Breezer, Fuji, Kestrel, +more.
    Am I the only one that gets choked up when a bike shop closes?
    I don't know the local history, but it is kind of sad to see a shop close. My consolation is that I might pick up a gravel bike for cheap. I do think that Performance has some sub-par locations--Kearny Mesa and Sorrento Valley. Seems they would do better if the shops were closer to other businesses that draw traffic.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2018 edited
    Shady John: My consolation is that I might pick up a gravel bike for cheap.

    Like dis?
    Rawland xSogn
    Rawland xSogn Monster ‘Cross

    Rawland xSogn Complete Bike (MSRP $1699 discounted to $899!!!)
    Low trail, Chromoly frame, SRAM Apex 1x11 drive train, Tektro mechanical disk brakes, actual bike may not / does not include rando rack.

    Rawland xSogn GEOMETRY
    Performance BIke's website now says "all stores closing." The parent company (also owns Fuji and Breezer bikes) has gone bankrupt. Also found this interesting news story:'
    • CommentAuthorsd_mike
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2019
    I have zero sympathy for any cyclist that runs a stop sign. Some idiot damn near crashed into me today at Howard and Florida while I was on my motorcycle. They thought it was a good idea to pass me on my left while I'm turning left. I did chase them down and yell at them, to which their response was "I can't hear you" due to headphones, to which I yelled back - CAN YOU SEE THE STOP SIGNS?

    Just saying. No sympathy for these idiots. Zero. You get hit, you are the one at fault. Period.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2019
    People do stupid shit when you put wheels under them. I don't stop at every sign, but I sure as hell take a good, long look. Passing anyone on the left at an intersection, in any vehicle is stupid. I've been passed on the left when going straight by a motorcycle.

    Just curious, who is at fault if BOTH the cyclist and motorist run the light?