A Beginner’s Guide to Bicycles


A bicycle is a vehicle with two wheels that can be used for riding or racing. It has a frame, seat, pedals, gearing, and handlebars. The rider pushes the pedals to move them, and this in turn moves the chain that powers the back wheel of the bicycle to make it go forwards. The rider also swivels the handlebars from side to side to steer the bike. Bicycles are the most efficient means yet devised for converting human energy into motion. They can be very fast and fun to ride, but they also require skill and practice to operate safely.

Many people enjoy cycling as a form of exercise. It can burn calories, strengthen the muscles, improve balance and coordination, and even help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Cycling can also be an environmentally friendly way to travel, since it does not produce any pollution. It is also an inexpensive method of transportation.

Some cities have laws that regulate how and where cyclists can use their bikes. These laws may include requiring the cyclist to wear a helmet or to obey traffic signals. Some cities also require cyclists to have reflectors on their bicycles and to carry a rear light and front reflector at night. Using a bicycle to commute to work or school is an excellent way to reduce stress and save on gas.

It is important for cyclists to remember that they must follow the rules of the road, just as cars do. They should always ride on the right side of the street (in countries where people drive on the right) and give pedestrians the right of way. Cyclists should use hand signals to indicate turns and should never ride their bicycle against the flow of traffic.

If a cyclist is struck by a car, they should call the police immediately. It is helpful if the cyclist can get the driver’s license plate number and insurance information. The cyclist should also insist that the officer issue a traffic ticket to the driver if they are at fault. If the police refuse, the cyclist should file a complaint with a superior officer about the officers’ conduct or lack of knowledge of the bicycle laws.

A review of a bicycle will often begin with the writer saying that the bike allowed them to “rip through singletrack”, “blast corners”, or “shred rocks”. This is the author’s chance to puff up their chest and tell the world how great and talented they are. It is also a way to stoke up sales guys, advertisers and potential buyers who will then buy the product to prove that they are just as good as the reviewer thinks they are.

The GOES Satellites and Their Importance for Weather Forecasting

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a constellation of 14 geostationary environmental satellites, known collectively as the GOES system. These spacecraft orbit the Earth in a special “geosynchronous” orbit—meaning they rotate at exactly the same speed as the Earth’s rotation, staying in one fixed position above the equator. They constantly watch the same sector of the Earth’s atmosphere, detecting two different types of electromagnetic radiation that reveal conditions in the atmosphere.

The GOES satellites—formerly called the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites, or POES—have served as an essential element of NOAA’s weather forecasting system for decades. In a typical day, a GOES satellite will transmit data as often as every 30 seconds for the entire hemisphere it covers—a remarkably rapid pace of information for such an important tool.

GOES’s ability to monitor the same region of the Earth continuously is vital for monitoring atmospheric phenomena, such as severe storms, cyclones, fires and volcanic eruptions. Using a variety of sensors, GOES detects visible light and invisible infrared radiation to provide detailed images of clouds and the atmosphere. In addition, it sounds the atmosphere to determine its vertical thermal and water vapor structures, which helps meteorologists understand the origins of these dangerous events.

Each GOES satellite contains two main instruments, which are the most important for monitoring conditions in the atmosphere. The first of these, called the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), is a state-of-the-art 16-band radiometer that measures electromagnetic energy in the visible, near-infrared and infrared regions of the spectrum. Its spectral, spatial and temporal resolutions are orders of magnitude superior to the current GOES fleet.

A second instrument, called the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), will complement the ABI in observing lightning activity at storm-scale spatial resolutions across a broad geographic area of overlapping coverage. This will significantly enhance the existing lightning and thunderstorm climatology originally established by the GOES-13/GOES-15 system and help improve weather forecasting in regions where GOES is currently unable to adequately observe the phenomena (Christian et al., 2012).

The GOES-R series, which launched on November 19, 2016, will maintain the two-satellite system that has been in place since GOES-9. The GOES-R series will be located at 75 degrees West longitude, which is the location of the current GOES-13, and at 135 degrees West longitude, which is the location for GOES-15.

The GOES-R series is expected to have an operational lifetime through December 2036. The GOES-R satellites have a two-satellite configuration with an on-orbit spare.