Pedal Assist Device

To enable the use of the arms to assist propulsion of a pedal driven device, proposed is the addition of two cables, one right and one left, connected via pulleys to the crank of the pedal device. Each cable will also have a hand-grip attached to the end opposite the crank thus enabling an alternating pull from each arm to exert force on the power stroke of the pedaling cycle.

Pedal Assist Device by Tim Castleman Copyright 2005Pedal Assist Device by Tim Castleman, Copyright 2005

85th percentile

Dear Mr. Walker,

Thanks for sending the “Drive to Survive” brochure produced by Maryland Department of Transportation in 1997. I see no conflict with the Drive 55 Conservation Project proposal that drivers obey posted speed limits, never exceeding 55 MPH.

Your point that most people drive 10-20 mph over the speed limit and that therefore those obeying it actually create a hazard is also well taken, and goes right to the Mission of the Drive 55 Conservation Project, which states in part:

“Conservation is an attitude and approach to life that we are trying to cultivate and nourish with the Drive 55 Conservation Project.“

So you see we are trying to influence a NEW attitude and approach, one that seeks the most efficient use of our resources. In studying the brochure you sent I note that the maximum speed on any roadway in Maryland (except on Interstate highways or other expressways) is already 55 mph, and the maximum anywhere is 65. We are simply proposing everyone obey the existing speed limit, and since we are at war, why not try to conserve a little by backing down to 55? People like you will drive 60 to 68 anyway, so why isn’t a mile a minute fast enough for you? What about the other people using the public roadway, say someone on a bike, or, god forbid, walking? Isn’t it fair to just slow down a bit and give these fuel-conserving patriots a break? After all, more of them are killed every year than died on 9/11. That’s right, about 5000 Americans are killed each year for the crime of walking or riding a bike, their murderers: cars and trucks. 10% or so are kids on their way to school. A few are bums or drunks that stumble into the road. Most are just folks walking or riding a bike.

You on the other hand, are ignoring that important factor as you race by in your gas guzzler. Windows up, music on, cell phone to ear, speed limits, no matter who sets them, are to be ignored unless there is a heavy enough penalty associated with such behavior. The simple fact is we can do better.

You highlighted a line on the last page of your brochure that seems completely apropos to me. It says: “..engineers set the most appropriate speed limits on the basis of thorough engineering study and the application of sound traffic engineering principles.”

We agree, and have to wonder why you insist on deliberately violating the existing posted speed limits by an average of 5-8 mph or more? Are you suggesting the existing posted limits are all 10-20 mph too low? Why do you object to obeying the law? This is the same sort of thinking going on in the Bush administration. You seem to think you are the exception to the rules, and since well funded expert marketing has convinced a lot of other drivers to feel the same way that justifies it, never mind what the engineers and experts say. This is why I accuse you of being a Bush supporter, because that is how they have to think to still be in favor of leaving the criminals in office for even one more hour.

Reduce summer fuel consumption 20%

If you drive a car, disconnect the A/C compressor to save 20% during summer driving and 5-10% during winter. The refrigeration system used to cool the interior of the car could easily cool a 2000 square foot home! Scroll to the following EPA report to see several other ways you can reduce fuel consumption right now!

Effect             Conditions        Average Fuel        Maximum Fuel

Economy             Economy

Reduction           Reduction

Temperature*       20F vs 77F          5.3%                13%

Head Wind            20 mph            2.3%                 6%

Hills/Mountains    7% road grade       1.9%                25%

Poor road         Gravel, curves,      4.3%                50%

conditions*       slush, snow, etc.

Traffic           20 vs 27 mph        10.6%                15%

Congestion        average speed

Highway speed     70 vs 55 mph        N/A                  25%

Acceleration      "Hard" vs "Easy"    11.8%                20%


Wheel                 1/2 inch        <1%                  10%


Tire Type           non-radial        <1%                   4%

vs radial

Tire Pressure*       15 psi vs         3.3%                 6%

26 psi

Air Conditioning    Extreme Heat      21%                  N/A

Defroster*          Extreme Use       Analogous to A/C on some vehicle

Idling/Warmup*       Winter vs        Variable             20%

Summer          with Driver

Windows            Open vs Closed     Unknown but likely small


The Office of Mobile Sources is the national center for research and
policy on air pollution from highway and off-highway motor vehicles
and equipment. You can write to them at the EPA National Vehicle and
Fuel Emissions Laboratory, 2565 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.
Phone number is (734) 214-4333.



Dear Aaron,

I have read your letter and added my comments – I hope you make it home with a change of heart. I admit that I wonder if you actually exist or if this letter is really just propaganda cooked up by war profiteers to generate support for their wars. In either case, I felt compelled to reply because my estranged daughter passed it along to me, and I want her to know exactly how I feel. If you want to read some truth from people who served or are serving now, visit:


> We all came together,
> Both young and old
> To fight for OUR freedom,
> To stand and be bold.

Our freedom to do what? Consume Corporate Culture? How is murdering 25,000 innocent civilians in a country on the other side of the world going to make me free? In fact, this murderous rampage has saddled me with a deep sense of shame. WE did NOT all come together – MILLIONS OF US SAID NOT IN OUR NAME.

> In the midst of all evil,
> We stand our ground,
> And we protect our country
> From all terror around.

Are you kidding? You are not standing on OUR ground, you are standing on another nations ground. Actually, many of you are hiding inside heavily fortified “temporary” bases from the inhabitants of that nation who want you to leave – now. Since you are there and not here, you are in fact NOT HERE to protect us.

> Peace and not war,
> Is what some people say.
> But I’ll give my life,
> So you can live the American way.

Yep, I am with the Peace not war group. Definitely.
And once again I tell you NOT IN MY NAME.

> I give you the right
> To talk of your peace.
> To stand in your groups,
> and protest in our streets.

This is a big lie – it is not the government’s soldiers that win freedom. It is the protestors rising up against corrupt government that wins freedom from said corrupt government. Think about it.

> But still I fight on,
> I don’t bitch, I don’t whine.
> I’m just one of the people
> Who is doing your time.

This whole thing is you whining and bitching. You are NOT just one of the people anymore. When you volunteered for the military you became PROPERTY of the US Government. GI stands for Government Issue. You are doing YOUR time, and you volunteered.

> I’m harder than nails,
> Stronger than any machine.
> I’m the immortal soldier,
> I’m a U.S. MARINE!

No, you are a human being and wealthy businessmen are making a fortune off of your ignorance. While your families live in substandard housing and qualify for food stamps the wealthy are having a good time and laughing their ass off at your foolishness.

> So stand in my shoes,
> And leave from your home.
> Fight for the people who hate you,
> With the protests they’ve shown.

I did two years in the US Army. I am sad I cannot encourage my children to serve today, but I cannot. I don’t hate you – I hate what you are doing. I pity you for mindless following of clever people “In the Name of God” to kill, maim, and destroy. I do not hate you – I hate what you are doing, and I want the world to know you are not doing it with my blessing. I want you to know very clearly that I OBJECT. Please DON’T GO. If that feels hateful to you I am all the more saddened.

> Fight for the stranger,
> Fight for the young.
> So they all may have,
> The greatest freedom you’ve won.

Again, protestors are the people who won YOUR freedom, not government soldiers. Corrupt religious extremists are taking it away, and you are going along with it.

> Fight for the sick,
> Fight for the poor.
> Fight for the cripple,
> Who lives next door.

I wish the troops were here to watch over us! The troops are far away from home though and it would take months to get them home if someone decided to invade the U.S.! Think about it.

> But when your time comes,
> Do what I’ve done.
> For if you stand up for freedom,
> You’ll stand when the fight’s done.


> By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine Corps
> March 23, 2003
> Hey Dad,
> Do me a favor and label this “The Marine” and send
> it to everybody on your
> email list. Even leave this letter in it. I want
> this rolling all over the
> US; I want every home reading it. Every eye seeing
> it. And every heart to
> feel it. So can you please send this for me? I
> would but my email time
> isn’t that long and I don’t have much time anyway.
> You know what Dad? I
> wondered what it would be like to truly understand
> what JFK said in His
> inaugural speech.

Did you know JFK was a democrat? Have you heard what his LIVING brother has to say about this war? His brother is a US Senator named Ed. You should look him up and see what he has to say.

> “When the time comes to lay down my life for my
> country, I do not cower
> from this responsibility. I welcome it.”
> Well, now I know.

This implies that maybe I have not – how about when I take my bike instead of a car to reduce my consumption? Considering the fact that more pedestrians are killed every year than died on 9/11, wouldn’t you agree I am taking a very real risk?

>And I do. Dad, I welcome the
> opportunity to do what I
> do. Even though I have left behind a beautiful wife,
> and I will miss the
> birth of our first born child, I would do it 70
> times over to fight for

What a ruse! You volunteered! Quit whining! I feel so sorry for your wife.

> the place that God has made for my home.

This is alarming – are you by chance on a CRUSADE?

> I love you
> all and I miss you
> very much. I wish I could be there when Sandi has
> our baby, but tell her

You could have been. You volunteered not to be.

> that I love her, and Lord willing, I will be coming

It has nothing to do with the lord – bullets and bombs kill people, it is that simple.

> home soon. Give Mom a
> great big hug from me and give one to yourself too.
> Aaron
> If this touched you as much as it touched me, please
> forward it on. Let’s
> help Aaron’s dad spread the word .. FREEDOM isn’t
> FREE . . . someone pays
> for you and me.

When GW Bush dressed up in a flight suit and put on his ‘Mission Accomplished’ show it was because HIS mission was accomplished, which was to engage this country in war in order to ramp up the war economy. Now every family that wants one can have an SUV, the economy is improving. And the cost has been tens of thousands of innocent lives. Enjoy your government sponsored SUV.

The MISSION of the PEACE TRAIN to DC is to deliver a message of PEACE THROUGH CONSERVATION to the WORLD.

The MISSION of the Drive 55 Conservation Project is to reduce petroleum consumption by 20%-50%.

Average BTU consumed Per Passenger mile by mode of travel:

SUV: 4,591
Air: 4,123
Bus: 3,729
Car: 3,672
Train: 2,138

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

According to a 2004 Transportation Research Board report, public transportation:
* Reduces CO2 emissions by more than 7.4 million tons per year in the U.S.
* Produces 95% less CO, at least 92% fewer VOCs, and nearly half as much CO2 and NOx for every passenger mile traveled than private vehicles

Jet Fuel 3000+ ppm Sulfur
Off-road diesel 500+ ppm Sulfur
Regular on-road diesel 15-500 ppm Sulfur
Ultra Low Sulfur diesel less than 15 ppm Sulfur

Detained and taken into custody

On Saturday, April 26th, 2003, I was standing on the NW corner of Marconi & Fulton in Sacramento, CA, protesting the war on Iraq. Across the street from me was a separate group holding banners and signs protesting the war on Iraq. Within 30 minutes I was handcuffed and taken away by officers from the Sacramento County Sheriff.

I was taken into custody and held overnight at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center and I was told my bicycle had been taken to a property warehouse in Rancho Cordova. I was released about 10 AM on Sunday, April 27th after evaluation by an RN, a Mental Health Counselor & an MD who all concluded I was not a danger to myself. The officers that detained me said they were doing so because I had been “observed going into traffic and yelling at passing vehicles.” and that I was “Dangerous to myself”.

I freely admitted I was vigorously protesting as loudly as I could, and will gladly testify in a court of law that I was making statements regarding this cultures addiction to petroleum, the illegal war in Iraq, asking how many more had to die and so forth, but I steadfastly deny that I ever stepped off the sidewalk or onto the roadway at any time, much less “into traffic” – to the contrary, as the officers were detaining me, I asked why they would do nothing about the car that illegally entered the crosswalk, blocking a bicycle rider’s right of way. I was also accused of altering the sign in front of the EXXON station which I denied to the owner when he asked me, to the officers when they asked me and to all of the staff workers that interviewed me at the Mental Health Center.

I asked the officers to visit with the protestors that were across Fulton Ave, on the NE corner of the intersection to obtain their statements or at least names & contact information but they (the officers) refused. Instead, another car was called and they loaded my bicycle into the trunk of their car and left. We drove to another area of the parking lot and parked for a while. Officer Oanai checked the validity of a registration for an employee of the tire store we were parked in front of. A few minutes later a third Sheriff car arrived and I was again searched and transferred to their car.

It was shortly after noon when this different pair of Sheriff officers delivered me to the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center under the “5150” law. My vital signs were taken and I was searched again and relieved of my shoes, belt, wallet and keys. I was given a Patients’ Rights handbook, which I sat down to read but did not finish before I was called by the RN to give my health history. When my interview was completed by the RN it was no later than 2 PM. I then finished studying the Patients’ Rights Handbook and began taking notes in the back of it.

I understood that I would need to be seen by two more people to regain my freedom, one being a Mental Health Counselor and the final one being the Doctor. At 5:20 PM I asked “Morad” if I would have to spend the night. I explained that my Mom would be concerned no matter what, but if there were a chance I could be released that evening I would refrain from calling her. He then consulted with staff member “Yolanda” and I observed her shake her head from side to side with a small smile, after which Morad turned to me and said it was unlikely that I would be seen, but he did not know for sure. At 5:30 I confirmed some admission notes with him and Yolanda was there listening. Morad suggested I go ahead and call my Mom to let her know I would be there overnight.

At about 6 PM staff member “Teresa” came to the waiting area and sat down next to me for a conversation that lasted about 20 minutes. We debated my position against the war and she repeatedly assured me that if I protested as I had earlier in the day I would be brought back to the facility. We also discussed the statements by the officers that I had been “observed going into traffic” and their claim that I had altered a sign on the EXXON station. I steadfastly deny these allegations. Teresa then disappeared into the back rooms of the administrative area for about a half hour. I presumed she was discussing my case with either Morad or the Doctor.

At 7:50 PM I again asked Morad if I would be able to see the Doctor before she went off duty and he said it was unlikely. He explained that there were other people ahead of me and I would have to wait for them to be interviewed first. I saw the Doctor coming and going and asked her to please consider that my Mom would be concerned and could she stay a few minutes late to expedite my release. I made all of these requests in a calm, respectful voice, explaining my concern was not for me, but for my Moms sake.

Around 8 PM I heard the Doctor come out and say goodbye to the staff which compelled me to ask again if I could be seen before she left and I was told by Yolanda & Teresa that I probably would be.

Morad returned to the desk at 8:30 and I again asked if I would be interviewed and seen by the Doctor and he replied that she had left for the day and would not return. I then called my Mom and let her know what was going on.

At about 9 PM Morad called me to the desk to ask for a urine sample, to which I reluctantly agreed after he told me that sometimes the Doctor would consider my refusal as proof I was using drugs and that it might delay my release.

At 9:25 PM Morad again called me to the desk and we went to an office for an interview that lasted about 45 minutes as I answered some questions, told my side of the story, answered more of his questions and then reviewed the “legal paperwork” (his words), in that order.

I met with the Doctor from 8:55 to 9:10 AM on 4/27. She advised me that we “Had to support the President” and reminded me of the tragedy of 9/11, to which I replied that none of the 18 or 19 terrorists were from Iraq, and I asked if finding no weapons of mass destruction meant anything to her. She said we would find them eventually and that we “had to support our troops.” I agreed and said the best way to do that would be to get them home as soon as possible, and that she would surely have a new batch of customers as a result of this illegal war. She smiled and agreed, and after a few more questions informed me that I would be released right away and that I should not protest so loudly any more.

During the discharge process I was informed of the restriction on my Constitutional right to Keep & Bear Arms for 5 years, to which I asked for and was given a form to sign requesting a hearing for Relief From Firearms Prohibition, I also asked, in writing, to view my records, to have a copy of my records mailed to me (copy fees & postage paid by me), that I be given a list of people my records have been shared with, and that my records NOT be shared with anyone without my written consent. The discharge counselor accepted my written request and, to her credit, signed and dated it as a witness.

I rode a public bus to Arden Fair and walked the short distance to Howe park which is near my home. From the park as I approached my street I observed four Sheriff cars on Bell Rd, 3 marked and one unmarked. One of them turned off Bell onto a street just before mine, another turned off Bell into Santa Anita park (across the street from Howe park). I experienced a very real fear that they were looking for me to have another go at me so I delayed returning to my home until the Sheriff cars were no longer around, about a half hour.

I consider myself fortunate to have suffered no more insult than I have, however I believe it is vital that our law enforcement community be held to the oath they took when they were given the power to affect a citizens life the way they have mine. Sure, I was loud and offensive, but I was not a danger to myself nor was I wandering around in traffic as they have claimed. I did nothing to deserve to be locked up in the Crisis ward of the Mental Health Center, and by using the “5150” law to confine me, the officers escape any accountability to proper legal channels plus I receive the added consequences of tagging me with a Mental Health Record and denying me the right to keep and bear arms. This is the first time I have ever been admitted to a Mental Health Care facility under any circumstances, and it was involuntary.

I am also deeply concerned about the clear attempt to influence me away from my stand against the war by all of these so-called Mental Health Professionals. This “observation period” felt much more like punishment to me, considering the filthy bathrooms, bright lights in the sleeping area, the 20 minute “infommercial’ for Prozac and obvious disdain many of the staff members had for the other ‘clients’, and the complete unwillingness to process me through to relieve my 77 year old Mom of excessive worry. To be fair, some staff members were very professional and courteous, but several were clearly biased and resentful of the people that were being held there. I am sure that is a hard job, but when two staff workers were called “minimum wage black bitches” by an angry client, they interrupted what she was doing (signing some forms for Morad) to confine her to a “quiet room” for a time. Admittedly, this woman had been noisy and rude for several hours, and she was clearly disturbed, but frankly, the workers almost seemed to enjoy egging her on! I would be reluctant to discipline Yolanda & Teresa, but perhaps some training is in order, or maybe a different assignment in the facility that doesn’t require interaction with patients would be more appropriate, in my humble opinion.

This concludes my statement of what happened from about noon Saturday, April 26th to about noon Sunday, April 27th, 2003.


I Mailed copies of the previous statement to my County Supervisor (Muriel Johnson), Sacramento County Mental Health Center & Sacramento County Sheriff on April 29th, 2003 by certified mail before 10 AM

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