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# Be the Flywheel

Conserve momentum. Save the planet. Be green.
 (+10, -1) [vote for, against]

I was reading about how brakes are wasteful just now, and indeed that this the case. However there are times when one must stop, as when a buffalo is in front of you. The obligation to stop does not make it any less wasteful. What to do?

There are many ideas on the halfbakery about capturing the momentum wasted in braking, preserving it, and putting it back to use after the buffalo moves on. Regenerative braking. Most schemes use a flywheel. An optimal flywheel is heavy, and you have to tote it around.

But the bicycle already has a weight that could be used to store energy: you, and the bike. And you are very heavy, which is why you are trying to ride the bike more and maybe what got the buffalo so interested. I propose that on stopping, forward momentum be converted into rotary motion of bicycle and rider, probably about a fixed central point. When it is time to move forward again, this rotary motion would be converted back to forward momentum, with only minor losses to friction and air resistance. This conversion would take place using gears and those things that go on gears.

 — bungston, May 13 2009

Slopping spitting cylon shoes. Stopping_20Sliding_20Cycling_20Shoes
My inspiration. [bungston, May 13 2009]

Easy... in one of those. http://www.cnet.de/.../0709_wheelsurf.jpg
[loonquawl, May 13 2009]

 I'll have to do some calculations... I think projectile vomiting could waste a good deal of angular momentum.

 On second thought, if you were spinning in such a way that your upper body was moving backward, you would actually be aided by regurgitational thrust... hmmm.
 — lurch, May 15 2009

I'm going to make a counter proposal (as a separate idea) that is based on captured momentum in a linear motion...
 — Jinbish, May 15 2009

+ for "regurgitational thrust" reference.
 — tatterdemalion, May 15 2009

 /angular momentum./

If you feel icky when spinning fast, you could radially extend your arms and legs to slow your rpms while conserving momentum.
 — bungston, May 15 2009

your going to need some really specialized rotary connections for the driver to retain control of the brakes and steering. Also some mechanism to keep the bike upright at rest..... i'm gonna be sick, honestly, if I keep thinking about it....
 — WcW, May 15 2009

If your occupation is bike courier, this explains much.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 15 2009

Into or onto?
 — bungston, May 15 2009

[WcW] / Also some mechanism to keep the bike upright at rest / -- If you, the rider, are rotating around an axis parallel to the axles, then you're acting as a gyroscope too. No problem.
 — hob, May 16 2009

//An optimal flywheel is heavy// Actually, an optimum flywheel is light but strong. Energy increases as the square of angular velocity but linearly with mass, so a flywheel capable of very high speeds gives the best energy density. This is achieved by a high strength to weight ratio, so it doesn't fly apart at these speeds.
 — spidermother, May 17 2009

Gave you a [+] although this (as usual for high ranking HBI's) is a TIC. But brings the thought of the bicycle wheel itself as the flywheel... Will open an idea and link to here.
 — pashute, May 17 2009

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