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Full Steam Ahead!

Posted by on May 9, 2017
Let's keep it short today because I've got stuff to do, you've got stuff to do, and most importantly this blog is going steam-powered so it's only got a limited range.

There's been a lot of talk lately about ebikes:


(An ebike what I saw at the Bike Expo this past weekend.)

However, I have seen the future of power-assist bicycles, and it runs on steam:



Who says British engineering isn't what it used to be?  Just "put the kettle on" and this baby can hit 20mph:


Sure, that may not Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed, but it's certainly Steampunk nanty narking speed.

It's also a highly efficient machine that's able to travel ten whole miles on a single tank of water:

 

Which is heated by a highly combustible fuel admixture:


(I hope he's wearing a fireproof chamois.)

This is a tremendous improvement over a regular human-powered bicycle, which can travel ten miles on about three sips of water and a muffin.

Best of all, there are plenty of features for the Victorian Freds to geek out over, such as this analog power meter:


(#whatpressureyourunning)

And it tracks really well due to the weight of the boiler:


In fact you might say it corners like it's on rails:


Wow, he came into that turn pretty hot.

Best of all, I hear there's a gravel version in the works, which should allow you to ride unpaved roads with only minimal scalding.

Speaking of cumbersome machines, disaster struck at the Giro d'Italia on Sunday when the Trek-Segafredo bus got stuck on a narrow lane:

If you've ever endured a carload of children asking repeatedly "Are we there yet?," I can assure you it's nothing compared to a busload of cranky professional cyclists who haven't yet had their dinner and massage:

The Trek-Segafredo team were faced with a delay in getting back to their hotel on Sunday for the post-race recovery process of massages and dinner as the team bus became wedged on a narrow Sardinian lane.

Yes, apparently when you're driving a bus on a Mediterranean island, the Google Maps "faster route" option and sheep do not mix:

The bus was driving from Tortoi to a hotel near Bari Sardo, but the 16km journey was complicated by the 'fastest route' proposed by satellite navigation system taking them down increasingly narrow country lanes.

As the team press officer explained in a blog, they had to stop when a herd of sheep clogged the road ahead and, when they were out of the way, it became clear the bus was stuck on the bend.

Who knew?

So serious was the situation that the riders were nearly forced to walk, but fortunately help arrived at the very last second in the form of some team cars:

Riders started to get off the bus, thinking they'd walk the last couple of kilometres to the hotel, but in the end they all hitched lifts in team cars that had come to the rescue. Eventually the bus driver managed to free the vehicle and reversed before turning the bus around and finding another route.

Alas, if only the riders had access to some sort of small, human-powered wheeled vehicle then perhaps they could have made it to the hotel without having to wait.

Perhaps in the future Trek-Segafredo should equip their buses with a few of these in case of emergency:


Lastly, there are few things worse than being the victim of road rage, but at least you're not alone, and even Chris Froome is not immune to attacks from homicidal drivers:


The Tour de France champion was continuing his training back at home in the south of France after riding the Tour de Romandie, but said he was hit on purpose by a driver, who then drove off.

Unlike the damage caused to his bike, Froome said he suffered no physical injury.

"Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement!" Froome wrote on Twitter. "Thankfully I'm okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!"

At this point driving should be classified as an illness.  After all, if even the winner of the Tour de France isn't fast enough for them then who the hell is?

Apart from this guy, of course:



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