Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Musette

An Experiment

I read that piece by a loony Brit researcher, claiming that passing distance decreased if a cyclist wore a helmet. So I decided to take this idea one step further.

I thought about dressing in an evening gown, a clown outfit, or as an outer-space alien. We already have plenty of REAL aliens around Tulsa, but most of them are from Mexico. We have a guy in a Santa suit too, and I wouldn't want to be imitative. But I have to wonder if our Brit researcher thought about trying a Santa suit. Couldn't hurt.

Anyway, I found a nice, off-the-shoulder dress in my size at the Goodwill store. It's hard to find nice things that fit, especially in XXL sizes. I tried to replicate the Brit study by using a Dolly Parton lookalike wig, and in order to be authentic, I had to find a HUGE bra. But I'm still a guy, so there's no way I was gonna shave my legs, beard or mustache.

Then I was off down the road on my bike. The sun may have been in some driver's eyes as they drove off the road nearby. Others went by yelling "Pervert!" out the windows, so I can only assume they were trying to warn me of some local neer-do-well lurking in the area. Oklahomans are like that - always looking out for the other guy.

Without the fancy distance measuring equipment enployed by Dr. Walker, I can only provide anecdotal evidence regarding overtaking distances. In my estimation, drivers avoid large, hairy men wearing dresses and wigs by wide margins. Police officers, however, take an entirely different view, and I'll write more about that after the court appearance.


Carbon Fiber and Titanium

Prices for carbon fiber and titanium are expect to see huge increases over the next year or so, mainly because the Chinese are buying more of those materials for their aerospace industry, and our own military is consuming large quantities also. So bicycle frames are likely to be aluminum or even steel in some models. Imagine that - steel bicycles!

But I was wondering about something. Years ago, I worked in an electronics plant where all the manufacturing equipment was nickel plated steel. Plating prevented both corrosion and wear. Would it be suitable for a bicycle frame? Better still, industrial nickel has a dull, gray satin finish, exactly like titanium. Could there be a market for a faux Not-So-Litespeed?


Interbike in Las Vegas.

I'm so old I'd actually go there to look at the BIKES! (Or at least that's the argument I'd try with She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed!) Then there's the food, of course. Bikes and food could hold my attention for a considerably long time. The other attractions, like gambling, I could readily avoid. Let's just say that I learned that I'm not a gambler a long time ago. It was an expensive lesson.

Maybe I'll go someday, provided I get a mega-kitchen pass and I can take that much time away from the family. I'm really a homebody and I don't like to be away.


Shift change

I have a new supervisor who's decided that all of us worker bees have to be in the door earlier. That means I ride to work in the dark now. While it doesn't bother me to do that, I'd much prefer riding in daylight. I have the necessary equipment for night riding; 2 white lights for the front, two blinkies for the rear, and a red rear reflector as well. The legal requirement is a white front light, a red rear light, and a red rear refector. I subscribe to the principle of redundancy principle because I've had single lights go out at times, leaving me to improvise something. That once involved riding with a double-A flashlight clenched in my fist, and it was an experience I'd rather not repeat.


Blogger Paul Tay said...

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer 9 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - In a scandal guaranteed to anger parents, a prominent House Republican has resigned after the revelation that he exchanged raunchy electronic messages with a teenage boy, a former congressional page.

Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record), R-Fla., who is single, apologized Friday for letting down his family and constituents. Once his resignation letter was read to the House late Friday afternoon, Republicans spent the night trying to explain — six weeks before congressional elections — how this could have happened on their watch.

How can Santa POSSIBLY top this stunt?! After the Judge Jimmy Houston "situation" out of Creek County, is Santa biking all over the Broken Arrow Expressway really ALL that?

3:57 AM  

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