Posts Tagged "bicycle"

Have You Heard About the Latest Scandal??

Dear Kid,

Do you think this bike will participate in the Tour de France? No motorized doping here! DearKidLoveMom.comThe Tour de France begins soon and (obviously) so do the allegations.

Actually, the allegations have already begun (does that make them pre-allegations? Prallegations?). And this year, we have New and Improved Prallegations.

The "extra motor" doesn't come from motorized doping but from get a friend to ride the bike with you. Bicycle built for two. DearKidLoveMom.comThere are the standard allegations about cyclists doping (old news). And New-This-Year, we’ve introduced Motorized Doping Allegations.

When I first heard about Motorized Doping I thought it was a speedier way to ingest banned substances (it’s not). Then I thought it was a different kind of drug cyclists were taking (it’s not). Then I stopped guessing.

Turns out Motorized Doping is about doping the bikes!

Yes, someone has taught the bicycles to take steroids!

Do they have to change the sign if riders are motorized doping participants? What would it look like? DearKidLoveMom.comNo, that’s not it. Someone has figured out how to get the bicycles to swallow small but powerful motors.

Yes, the point is that somehow elite cyclists have found a new way to cheat in the Tour. They have little motors (I am not making this up) hidden in the bikes that are somehow connected through buttons and/or blue tooth to make the bikes go faster/stronger (We can rebuild him! [Extra points if you get the reference]).

This is such a big deal thing that even NPR did a story on motorized doping.

Le Tour officials were going to scan bikes to check for motors or batteries, but then they were shamed into taking this much more seriously. They’ve decided to set up heat scan sensors along the route at random and unannounced places to check bikes for hidden mechanical assistance.

Or maybe mechanical assistants if there are mini robots involved.

In any case, we now have a new scandal to worry about.

Love, Mom

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Bicycles: The Semi-Unofficial History of Two Wheel Fun

What do you call a cyclist who doesn't wear a helmet?  An organ donor.  ~David PerryDear Kid,

Way back in 1817, Baron von Drais invented a walking machine that was basically a two wheel bike without pedals and made entirely of wood. If one wanted to meander the royal gardens more quickly than a walk, one hopped on this device (known as a hobby horse) and rolled oneself along like a baby on a scooter only with better clothes. In modern times, inventors proved that a walking machine needs tennis balls to work properly.walker tennis balls

Fast forward to 1865 (when fast forward still hadn’t been invented) and some smarty pants decided to add pedals to the front wheel. However, this same smarty (being a nerd of the day) spent too much time indoors staring at the spot where his Nintendo wasn’t and didn’t taken into account the small problem of the streets still being made of cobblestones. Since the velocipede (as it was officially called) was not built with decent shock absorbers, it was popularly called a bone shaker and was suitable primarily for small boys who weren’t rich enough to own them anyway.

Later in the 19th century, solid rubber tires and HUGE front wheels were invented. According to (where much of the factual information included here came from) the point of the big wheel was not only to get an early trademark on a children’s toy, but also because people figured out that the larger the wheel the farther the rider would travel on one rotation of the pedals. Other scholars (unnamed) think that the young men who purchased and rode these things may have been compensating. For something. Like not being given the keys to the horse and carriage.

old fashion bike Here are the really cool tidbits about the high wheeled bikes:

  1. It was the first time such a contraption had been called a bicycle.
  2. Because the rider was perched high and the center of gravity of the bike clung to a spot closer to the ground, if the front wheel stopped suddenly (“Hello, it’s a rock!”) the rider went head-first into the cobblestones. This is where the term “taking a header” comes from. It may also be the origin of pet rocks.

You, my darling, learned to ride a tricycle (made of white plastic with teal foot pedals as I recall) when you were 1 ½ or so in the hall outside our apartment in NYC. You would ride as fast as you could to the end of the hall where you would stop by smashing into the wall. Then you would get off your bike, turn it around, rinse and repeat. You thought this was fabulous. Eventually you learned the concept of turning when you reached the ripe old age of 1 ¾ or thereabouts.

Enjoy your new bike. Pedal far and prosper.

Love, Mom

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