Word of the day

December 30, 2014

Murth – great quantity, an abundance; plenty.


Minimising TED conflicts with speed limit

December 30, 2014

The tractor was travelling at a steady 50 kilometres an hour as I followed it for several hundred metres on a windy stretch of road.

When we got to a straight I indicated, put my foot down and pulled out to pass.

By the time I pulled back in I was doing more than 80 kph.

If you have to go more than 30 kilometres faster to pass someone travelling at 50 kph, how can you pass someone driving faster but still under 100 kph without exceeding the speed limit?

If you want to minimise the time exposed to danger – TED, when you’re on the right hand side of the road – you can’t.

Rodney Hide has worked it out:

In good driving conditions we are advised to apply the “two-second rule”. At 90km/h that’s 50m. So you pull out 50m behind a truck and trailer, the truck and trailer is 20m long and you pull in once safely 50m past. You have to make 120m to pass safely.

If the truck is doing 90km/h and you stick to 100km/h it takes 43 seconds to gain that 120m.

At 100km/h you will have travelled 1.2km. You must allow for a car coming towards you at 100km/h. To pass safely you need 2.4km of clear road.

That doesn’t happen often.

So you wait for a passing lane. The traffic behind the truck and trailer builds up. Finally you get to a passing lane. The front cars take off – at 100km/h. I drove Auckland to Queenstown these holidays and typically only the first two cars would make it past.

I would then watch in horror as a couple of frustrated drivers would try to pass the line of cars and the truck and trailer without the benefit of a passing lane or a clear road. It was frightening. And predictable. . .

What’s also predictable is that the slow vehicle will often speed up at a passing lane making it even more difficult to pass.

I am no speedster. I am never in a hurry. I am content to drive at the speed of the traffic, whether its 90km/h or 100km/h. In more than 40 years I have only had two speeding tickets.

But if I must pass, I hit the gas hard. I want to get past as quickly as I can to get back on the correct side of the road as soon as I can. I minimise what is called the “time exposed to danger”. I typically pass at 120km/h. . .

 A friend was clocked doing about 120 kph as he passed a large truck. The traffic officer eventually, albeit reluctantly, accepted his explanation that passing quickly by reducing the TED was safer than passing slowly and that not passing at all was impractical.

A few kilometres slower or faster doesn’t make much difference to the time of a long journey. But if the second vehicle doesn’t pass the first then a third will catch them up and soon there will be a long queue which will inevitably catch up to an even slower vehicle.

Another friend was in a long line of slow traffic when a police car passed with siren and flashing lights going and pulled up the first car that had been holding everyone else up.

That’s two instances of good policing.

The first recognised that minimising TED can be safer even if it means temporarily exceeding 100 kph.

The second recognised that going too slowly without letting other vehicles pass can also be dangerous.

 

 


Things to do in Oamaru – A20 cycle trail

December 30, 2014

The Alps to Ocean cycle way is New Zealand’s longest – 301 kilometres from Aoraki/Mt Cook to Oamaru harbour.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is New Zealand in all its colour and beauty – from our highest mountain, past great lakes and rivers, and down to the ocean. Suitable for all ages, the 8 section bike trail is an easy to intermediate grade, offering a pleasing mix of on and off-road terrain which links the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.

Most people would need 4 -6 days to do the whole trail but you can do day trips or shorter rides.

Highlights include:

  • Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Elephant Rocks
  • Snow-capped Mountains
  • Clay Cliffs
  • Golden Landscapes
  • Maori Rock Art
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Blue Penguins
  • Limestone Cliffs
  • Boutique Shops
  • Lakes: Tekapo, Pukaki, Ohau, Benmore, Aviemore
  • Vineyards
  • Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct
  • Hydro Canals

Neighbours have been running homestays in an historic home for years and their business is booming now the cycle trail has opened.

I’s still in its infancy but has already been numbered among four of the best cycle trails in New Zealand.

 


Things to do in Oamaru

December 30, 2014

A few years ago friends came to stay a couple of nights on their way to Wanaka.

They ended up forgoing the trip to Central Otago in favour of staying longer with us.

It was one of those golden summers when days at the river a few kilometres from home were far more attractive than coping with holidaying hordes in more populous spots.

Not every summer is like that but the last few days have been good for holiday makers. We’ve had enough heat to enjoy the beaches or rivers but not too much to make other attractions too much of an effort.

When our friends visited, nearly three decades ago, Oamaru wasn’t regarded as a holiday destination.

That’s changed.

Lonely Planet, which had just two pages on the town five years ago now gives it nine and has dubbed Oamaru the coolest town in New Zealand.

An Explore Waitaki App will help you discover the district’s charms, find what’s where and how to get there.

I have yet to download it so don’t know if it will take you to places the locals go to cool off when the weather cooperates.

Rivers change and Gemmels Crossing where I spent many summer days as a child is no longer so good for swimming.

But there are still good swimming holes further up the Kakanui River near Clifton Falls and the Waitaki River also has some great picnic and swimming spots.

For those who prefer beaches, there’s Campbells Bay, All Day Bay and Moeraki.

Oamaru and the Waitaki District  hinterland have lots of other attractions.

Oamaru Today is very good at highlighting things to see and do and I’m planning to write posts about the area over the next few days.

You’re welcome to add your own ideas for holiday makers in North Otago of further afield.

 

 

 


December 30 in history

December 30, 2014

39  Titus, Roman emperor was born  (d. 81).

1066 Granada massacre: A Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, crucified Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred most of the Jewish population of the city.

1460  Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield.

1835 Charles Darwin left New Zealand after a nine day visit.

Charles Darwin leaves NZ after 9-day visitThis red gurnard was collected by Charles Darwin when the Beagle visited the Bay of Islands.

1865 – Rudyard Kipling, English writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1936).

1916 The last coronation in Hungary was performed for King Charles IV and Queen Zita.

1919 – Lincoln’s Inn in London admitted its first female bar student.

1922  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed.

1924 Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galaxies.

1927  The Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opened in Tokyo, Japan.

1928 – Bo Diddley, American singer and musician, was born (d. 2008).

1931  Skeeter Davis, American singer, was born  (d. 2004) .

1937 –  Noel Paul Stookey, American folk singer (Peter, Paul & Mary), was born.

1940 California opened its first freeway the Arroyo Seco Parkway.

1942 – Michael Nesmith, American singer and musician (The Monkees) was born.

1944 King George II of Greece declared a regency, leaving the throne vacant.

1945  Davy Jones, English singer (The Monkees), was born (d. 2012).

1947 King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate by the Soviet-backed Communist government of Romania.

1947 Jeff Lynne, English musician (ELO), was born.

1948  The Cole Porter Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate (1,077 performances), opened at the New Century Theatre and was the first show to win the Best Musical Tony Award.

1950 Bjarne Stroustrup, Danish computer scientist, creator of C++, was born.

1953 The first ever NTSC colour television sets went on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.

1959 Tracey Ullman, English actress and singer, was born.

1961 – Bill English, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, was born.

1965  Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines.

1975 Tiger Woods, American golfer, was born.

1993  Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.

2004 A fire in the República Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina killed 194.

2005  Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the open Atlantic Ocean.

2006  Madrid’s Barajas International Airport was bombed.

2006 Deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein, convicted of the executions of 148 Iraqi Shiites, was executed.

2009 – The last roll of Kodachrome film was developed by Dwayne’s Photo, the only remaining Kodachrome processor at the time, concluding the film’s 74-year run as a photography icon.

2011  – Owing to a change of time zone the day was skipped in Samoa and Tokelau.

2013 – More than 100 people were killed when anti-government forces attacked key buildings in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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