Saturday 28 May 2011

Too much time on YouTube.

I bought a new bike at the end of last summer and since then I have been cycling everywhere. I am faster, fitter, cheaper and have more fun than even on the excellent Vienna public transport (where I met my fiancée). Bicycles are certainly a much superior method of transport in the center of towns than the dominant car. This maybe explains why you get so much aggression and frustration vented at you by car drivers who constantly try to kill you. The cycle lane design means you can then pass that aggression on by venting it at pedestrians who I presume walk nervously along until they get to the safety of their car.

Being a bit of a geek and spending far too much time on youtube I have come across Velomobiles. These aerodynamic recumbent bikes are just so cool. Fit an electric motor and you have a far more sustainable motorized transport vehicle without the need to go to war in order to secure access to the last remaining oil reserves.

It is interesting to read that the racing bikes of today are very much the same as the bikes of the 1930s. Materials have changed but the basic design has not. One of the reasons for this is due to recumbent bikes getting banned as soon as they started to break records. An aerodynamic shell on a recumbent bike makes the thing a real efficient fast machine that can easily keep up with town traffic speeds. It is a shame that the sport of cycling did not embrace recumbent bikes but instead protected the status quo and self interests effectively killing all development of this concept. Luckily there are guys with beards out there so the development has continued but not at the same level of cars. However the focus of development in the car industry at the moment seems to be to make them bigger and bigger so that in a crash the other guy is dead.

So what is my point and what does this have to do with Moths? Well we (the IMCA) will decide on the banning of solid wing sails soon. Do we want to help the world investigate efficient transport systems or protect our existing investment?

I am trying to decide if I should build a new Moth, Wing sail or Velomobile next winter. However I will probably just spend in on youtube.