Government Spent $300K To Study 'How Humans Interact With Bicycles’

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The National Science Foundation study on how “humans interact with bicycles” is being blasted by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

The study which lasted from October 2009 to June 2013 was designed to probe “deeper questions” about how people control bicycles and distinguishing their “desired handling qualities.”

“Although human operator control models exist for numerous aircraft and other vehicles, the bicycle with a rider is a human-vehicle system whose dynamic behavior is poorly understood,” researchers at the University of California wrote in their interim results.

“Even the simplest models of a bicycle with a rigidly attached rider have yet to be completely understood,” researchers said, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

“If successful, this research will improve the fundamental understanding of how humans interact with bicycles and will help pave the way to the design of bicycles for a wider population and for a wider range of tasks,” they wrote.

SSTC Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, called the study a waste of taxpayer money.

“The NSF has gone off the road, and taxpayers are paying for it,” Smith said. “Scarce public funds were awarded for an ill-conceived study to improve bicycle designs. Peddling their proposal, the researchers asserted that bicycle riding dynamics are ‘poorly understood.’ Yet bicycling is a $65 billion per year global industry that invests hundreds of millions in research and development.”

The GOP committee has been criticized for holding more hearings on aliens and the search for life in the universe than on climate change.

During a climate change hearing earlier this month, Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Indiana, said he doesn’t believe peer reviewed articles from climate scientists “whose careers depends on the climate changing to keep themselves publishing articles.”

He argued “that the temperature of the earth has been changing for centuries.”

Sources: Fox News, Washington Free Beacon, National Journal, ThinkProgress

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Paul Krueger, Flickr / Jess J