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Road America - Ariens Art on Wheels Vintage Racing 2021, Part 2 - More paddock shots, including pre-war class.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/09/2021 - 10:58pm in



A 1927 Bugatti, worth about 2.6 million. It was there to race.

A 1927 Bugatti, with many innovations that were years or even decades ahead of their time. While back then, they were still using drum brakes, the brakes are huge - like about 14" in diameter huge. Notice the cooling fins on the outside of the drums. These are bolted directly to the aluminum wheels. At the time, everyone else was still using steel spoked wheels. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat, and by bolting the brakes to the wheels, this makes the wheel a huge heat sink, effectively cooling the brakes. All of this was in 1927, which, at that time, was like having a hovercar when the rest of the racing field are driving lawn tractors.

A Honda Trail doing service as a pit bike. One just like this one just sold on Bring A Trailer last week for about four thousand dollars!
We couldn't stop looking at this amazing vintage motor home. Metal flake green paint and lots of corrugated stainless steel.

Road America - Ariens Art on Wheels Vintage Racing 2021, Part 1 - Paddock shots

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/09/2021 - 1:18am in



 Last weekend was Road America's annual Ariens Art on Wheels vintage event, and of course we sent the Phil Are Go! Ogling And Photography Brigade to document the juicy badassery. Here's what they photographically documented!

Technical note: There's a lot of pictures. They will be broken up over several days, so don't expect everything in one post. Come back tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow for a bunch more.

Other technical note: These photos were taken with a Fujifilm X-T4 using a Kodacolor film simulation and a vintage Russian Mir 24-H f/2 35mm lens.

There were a lot of Datsun 240s there this year, and this one was no exception... it being a Datsun 240 and, you know, being there and all.

Any VSCDA event will likely have a lot of Formula V competitors. A Formula V is a purpose-built monoposto chassis (usually something simple like steel tubing) using all Volkswagen Beetle running gear. I've been told it's one of the cheapest ways to get into vintage racing. The cars  should be easy to source parts for, and also to work on. They look like a ton of fun to drive. Riding in a metal sausage with your butt four inches off the ground, even forty horsepower will be plenty.

The Caterham 7 (or Caterham Seven) is a super-lightweight sports car produced by Caterham Cars in the United Kingdom. It is based on the Lotus Seven, a lightweight sports car sold in kit and factory-built form by Lotus Cars, from 1957 to 1972.
Thanks, Wikipedia! -Mgmt.

A Volvo P1800. It's hard to believe this car was made by Volvo BEFORE they decided to build the bricklike 240 series. Fun fact: The world record for highest mileage lifespan of any production car ever is held by a Volvo P1800, at over 3,000,000 miles and going strong.
These skeletons were seen on the hood of a golf cart paddock vehicle.
A beautiful Datsun 1600 with cool black-on-black stripes.

Vintage race cars sometimes stall and need a push. Nobody judges and everyone is willing to help out with a push start.
An AMC Pacer X and a Rover, which you almost never see in the U.S.

A relatively rare Morgan with four wheels (Morgan is more famous for their three-wheeled cars. Yes, really.)

You and Your Auto - Proper Maintenance

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/08/2021 - 10:29pm in




On the edge

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/08/2021 - 9:37am in


cars, no future

On the edge of extinction. Arthur & Troy’s side street motor garage since the inter-war years. Closed on Sundays, but still going strong. But for how long, with EV’s set to take over the world?  Campsie.

Washington, D.C. Turns a Parking Subsidy into a Transit Perk

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/08/2021 - 6:00pm in

Train for the job

Among America’s many nonsensical tax exemptions is the one for employer-paid parking, which encourages workers to drive to work alone. No wonder 81 percent of them choose to do so.

A tax exemption for solo drivers penalizes transit riders, contributes to inequity and is flat-out bad for traffic, cities and the climate. This is why last year, Washington, D.C. enacted the Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment, which requires companies that subsidize employees who park at work to also subsidize those who do not.

Washington’s law gives non-car commuters a cash payout equal in value to the employee parking subsidy, which recipients can use to, say, pay for a transit pass instead. It’s modeled on a similar California law that successfully decreased solo driving to work by 17 percent and increased transit ridership by 50 percent. The system, according to employers, was “cheap, easy to manage and fair.” Even the state made out like a bandit, collecting $48 annually per employee who took the cash payout because the cash, unlike cheap parking, is taxable.

Read more at Bloomberg CityLab

Budget concerns

The stimulus money funneled to U.S. cities and states by the American Rescue Plan has inadvertently led to a flurry of engagement between government and citizens, as many political leaders have found themselves with sums of cash they rarely see, and have turned to residents directly to ask them how they think it should be spent.

Alexandria, Virginia has created a hotline and web portal that constituents can use to suggest how they would spend the $60 million the municipality received. Cities in California, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia have created similar channels of communication, through which residents have called for funding for job training, housing and broadband internet. In Charleston, West Virginia, one mostly Black neighborhood wanted funding to fix its food desert problem. Now the city is discussing how to spend some of its $37 million on expanding a local food co-op to that community. 

“Usually when we do something new, I like to look and see what other jurisdictions have done,” said one Alexandria official. “But we’re all going through this at the same time — we’re building the plane as we fly it.” 

Read more at Route Fifty

School first

Of the pandemic’s many unexpected side effects, one that unfolded in India took many by surprise: a surge in child marriages. Last summer, as the lockdowns were eased, child marriages there increased by 17 percent as families rushed to marry off girls before a full reopening so they could keep the weddings small and inexpensive.

One of those girls was Priyanka Bairwa from the district of Karauli, Rajasthan. But rather than accede, Bairwa refused to be married off. When she threatened to run away, her parents agreed to drop the marriage and let her finish school instead. 

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Now 18, Bairwa is the founder of Rajasthan Rising, an organization that helps girls in Karauli seek scholarships and avoid arranged marriages before they’ve graduated high school. The group holds informational sessions with girls in rural villages to make them aware of their constitutional rights, and lobbies state ministers to enact laws allowing girls to receive free education until they are at least 17. It has also organized protests outside the homes of families seeking to marry off their girls, which the group’s members say have stopped specific child marriages from occurring.

Today, Rajasthan Rising has grown from its original ten members to 1,200 strong. “Many villagers called us mad,” said Bairwa. “But we had a clear goal, to reach vulnerable girls in all 33 districts of the state and demand long-term change.” 

Read more at the Guardian

The post Washington, D.C. Turns a Parking Subsidy into a Transit Perk appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Cities Trailblazing Transit Service into the Wilderness

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/05/2021 - 6:00pm in

On a recent spring morning, Kamal Adhikari hopped in his Chrysler 200S and made the 30-minute drive from his home in a Seattle suburb to the Poo Poo Point Trailhead in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. When he arrived at 10 a.m. the trailhead parking lot was full. He ended up paying for parking at a private lot down the road. Then he hit the trail for the nearly four-mile round-trip hike that winds 1,800 vertical feet up Tiger Mountain to its namesake vista, Poo Poo Point, where paragliders soar into the air and views on a clear day stretch all the way to the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

“It’s a very busy trail with a moderate hike,” Adhikari says. “Everybody wants to be here.”

The 30-year-old Bhutanese immigrant doesn’t begrudge his fellow hikers for flocking to the trail. “As you gain elevation you can see Mt. Rainier from one angle and you think, ‘Oh wow, this is going to be awesome,’” he says. “A cool breeze hits your face, flowers are blooming in the springtime. It’s so spectacular, so priceless. Out here in the middle of the busy streets, nobody expects those things.”

But the parking snafu makes Adhikari pine for Trailhead Direct, a seasonal bus service that runs from Seattle and its suburbs to nearby trailheads. The service did not run in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but on May 11, King County announced that the popular route would return next month. 

transit to trailsSeattle’s Trailhead Direct launched as a pilot project that ran transit vans from two park and rides to an area known colloquially as the Issaquah Alps. Credit: King County Parks

In whisking hikers from busy downtown streets and light rail stations out to hundreds of miles of backcountry trails, Trailhead Direct represents what outdoor recreation groups and transit planners alike believe will be increasingly necessary in years to come: an alternative to driving for people who want to spend some time in nature.

“Not everyone has a car,” says Yvette Lopez-Ledesma, the Urban to Wild Director for the Wilderness Society. “Transit agencies need to ensure that whatever their limitations, people can access public lands with public resources like transit.” With interest in outdoor recreation booming during the pandemic, an analysis by the Outdoor Industry Association found that newer participants in activities like hiking are more likely to be female, younger, living in an urban area and more ethnically diverse than existing participants.

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The Adhikaris are a prime example. The family lives in Kent, a city in south King County that is considered relatively affordable and popular with first-generation immigrants. Their seven-person household — two parents, three siblings, Kamal and his girlfriend — can’t all fit in the one car. So in years past, Adhikari would make two round-trips in each direction just for a family hike.

“It took hours,” he says. “In that amount of time, you could already be up on Poo Poo Point.”

That changed in 2019 when King County Metro, which operates bus service throughout the county, began offering the Trailhead Direct service from the light rail station in Tukwila, about eight miles north of Kent, to Poo Poo Point. Adhikari would drive some family members to the Tukwila station’s park and ride and the rest would catch a ride with a friend. Then everyone would pile onto the Trailhead Direct bus. Or they could all take a bus from Kent to Tukwila and never get in their car in the first place, although that ended up making for a long trip. The $2.75 fare was the same as any local bus ride.

trailhead directAn event for the launch of Trailhead Direct service from the Tukwila light rail station. Credit: King County Parks

“Black, Latinx and Asian communities are three times less likely to live near parks and open spaces as white communities,” says Jackie Ostfield, Director of the Sierra Club’s Outdoors For All campaign. “It’s an environmental injustice that there are so many people who don’t have access to parks and green spaces.”

The Adhikaris used the service a half dozen times that year to go on family hikes, which is exactly what King County Parks and Recreation’s Ryan Dotson hoped would happen. “A lot of these trailheads are full by 8 a.m.,” he says. “With Trailhead Direct, a family can take their time and catch a 10 o’clock bus and get to the trailhead at 11 with guaranteed access.”

Serving families like the Adhikaris was not what King County had in mind when it piloted the service in 2017. At first, they were just trying to stem a literal accident waiting to happen with hikers parking on the shoulder of a busy high-speed road.

“The booming population growth across our region over the past decade-plus has put tremendous pressure on all of our backcountry trailheads,” Dotson says.

trailhead directTraffic and parking limitations at trailheads are part of why planners say transit to trails is essential to keep up with growing interest from urbanites in outdoors activities. Credit: King County Parks

With neither the available land nor funds to expand the existing trailhead parking lot, King County Parks and Recreation turned to another branch of local government. King County Metro’s Community Connections program offers transit in parts of the county that don’t have the density or infrastructure for regular fixed-route bus service. Parks and Recreation submitted an application and in 2017, Trailhead Direct was born as a pilot project that ran transit vans from two park and rides on Interstate 90 along a loop to 200 miles of trails (including to Poo Poo Point) in an area known colloquially as the Issaquah Alps.

After that trial run in 2017, the county surveyed riders and the general public. “What we found out was that more important than alleviating parking, our customers didn’t have access to their own personal vehicles,” says King County Metro service planner Ryan Miller. “That really changed our thinking. Instead of a satellite parking model, we realized the importance of connecting major urban centers and areas with concentrated transit service directly out to trailheads.”

In 2018, the county added routes from downtown Seattle and the densely populated Capitol Hill neighborhood to other popular trailheads deeper in the Cascades, like Mt. Si and Mailbox Peak. Looking to provide service in more socio-economically, racially and ethnically diverse parts of King County, the Trailhead Direct line from Tukwila was added in 2019.

transit trails“It’s an environmental injustice that there are so many people who don’t have access to parks and green spaces.” Credit: King County Parks

Existing small buses that served different routes during the week allowed King County Metro to scale up this weekend and holiday service. “We had this fleet of coaches sitting otherwise unused in our bus depot,” says Miller. These small buses proved adequate to the demand, which rose to 35,838 boardings (or roughly 17,500 hikes) in 2019. Running a smaller bus is also significantly cheaper in King County, about $100 per vehicle hour versus the $150-180 per vehicle hour for regular bus service.

A long haul

Transit-accessible hiking is not totally new in North America. Metro areas with that sweet spot of fairly robust public transit and geographic proximity to trails offer car-free hikes in places like Boston, Denver, New York City and Vancouver. But many of these trips are viewed as “transit hacks” that require catching a regular bus or train depositing the rider close enough to a trailhead. Trailhead Direct’s innovation is to make the service a feature rather than a bug by providing dedicated service for those who might not otherwise piece together an itinerary that incidentally brings them close to a trail.

“That intentionality is pretty important, whether it’s advertising a quicker line to get somewhere or providing really clear instructions,” says Ostfield. She cited TriMet, the transit agency serving greater Portland, Oregon, that marks parks on the region’s transit map and even features as a component of the city’s signature 4T Trail. Likewise, she said, the club’s Minneapolis chapter has spent a decade mapping out transit-assisted hiking and cycling outings, including an overnight camping trip to a state park. Trailhead Direct seized on its status as not-your-average bus to teach basic hiking etiquette via signage and brochures.

Providing a seamless transit-to-trails connection was the impetus behind Pasadena Transit’s Route 88, which ran shuttle vans on weekends in 2018 to connect riders from an LA Metro subway station to the popular Sam Merrill Trailhead, where hikers can access over 550 miles of trails in the San Gabriel Mountains. An existing bus serves the residential Altadena neighborhood that backs up against the mountains, but it stops 1.2 miles from the trailhead, while this service took riders straight from subway to trail. The pilot service only lasted six months, however, and resident complaints about noise appear to have stymied the trail shuttle’s return.

Ultimately, Trailhead Direct and Pasadena Transit Route 88 illustrate how specially branded transit-to-trails service can be a double-edged sword. Both operated with dedicated funding streams. In Trailhead Direct’s case, money from Seattle-based outdoor industry powerhouse REI shored up the service along with funds from the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District. In Pasadena, the $72,000 to run the pilot came from city and county discretionary funds as well as a corporate donation from Edison International. As “nice to have” rather than “need to have” services, they were easier to cut than a workhorse bus route considered essential, whether in the face of neighborhood opposition or a crisis like the pandemic.

But more sustainable funding may be on the way. On April 29, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Transit to Trails Act, which if passed would fund approved transit projects with federal dollars up to 80 percent of their total cost for routes within 175 miles of the service area.

That injection of funding would allow places around the country to consider solving the puzzle of getting people to trails without overloading trailheads or relying on private car ownership. Los Angeles-based Nature For All, one of the groups behind the Pasadena pilot, has big plans if the act passes for a whole network of trail shuttles from LA Metro’s Gold Line into the San Gabriel Mountains. But Lopez-Ledesma recommends anyone planning a transit to trails system to take a hard look at Trailhead Direct.

“Their program is a real model for these types of services, especially in big cities,” she said.

Back in King County, meanwhile, Adhikari is rooting for Trailhead Direct’s return, with one caveat: “I’m hoping for service in Kent.”

The post The Cities Trailblazing Transit Service into the Wilderness appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Car Design Lesson 4 - How to make things disappear.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 29/04/2021 - 11:03pm in


cars, Design


Car Design Lesson 37 - What to do if your design is ugly?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/04/2021 - 11:04pm in


cars, Design