Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Full Steam Ahead!

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:



46 comments:

poo your pants said...

Pooped my pants

number 2 said...

Poo your pants

number 1 said...

Pee your pants too

fart face said...

Final poo and pee podium

Here for the atmosphere said...

Ugh

Anonymous said...

Top ten losers

Schisthead said...

At first I thought you were making up "Segafredo" as a sponsor.

Sounds like some sort of a video game bike-dork team, off hand.

N/A said...

Haha, that steam bike is a brilliant idea. There's nothing like having a potential bomb located right under your scranus to get the ol' blood pumping!

N/A said...

I saw a new/planned ebike this morning on the internets. I don't remember if it was kickstarting or not. It's biggest "feature" was the absence of pedals. Who needs those stupid things on a bike, right?

Gaffer Smythe said...

Ah, NKP 765 is pretty cool, except for the shower of coal soot you get riding next to it on the CVNP towpath trail.

NHcycler said...

I'd make sure that crankset had a really wide q-factor before I'd consider riding that steampunk bike. And where's the coal car?

Very Slim Pickens said...

Most important question, can the top of the furnace cook wieners (not the Carlos Danger type) while you're riding?

If yes, could be a mega hit.

Stay tuned for The Donald's Tweet on the subject.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Bad week for Froomie. First his unconventional tuck is exposed as un-aerodynamic, and now he gets hit by a car.

You know how they give broken baseball bats and hockey sticks to fans in the stands? I wonder if some lucky passer-by wound up with a sweet but slightly used Team Sky Pinarello.

wishiwasmerckx said...

As an added bonus, that thing will steam out the wrinkles in your scrotum, leaving itm as smooth as a baby's behind.

The Absolut Humiliation said...

"the riders were nearly forced to walk"

Sac de Bleu - Now that would be amusing to watch, like watching a video of a DWI Stop asking a drunk to walk in a straight line.

Alfred E. Neuman said...

"A mix of Petrol and Kerosine" with the fuel tank is right next to the furnace's open flame.

What, me worry?

McFly said...

They were packed in Sardinia like.........SARDINES.

Anonymous said...

"At this point driving should be classified as an illness."

Mostly, it seems to be just that, in varying degrees, from frothing at the mouth "I'm gonna run you over", to clueless "Oops, I didn't see 'em", and everything between.

We're fucked...

BamaPhred said...

Giro? You mean Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is over already? I guess I need to pay more attention.

james purdy said...

No "rolling coal" jokes?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to notice that Froomie was running alloy wheels and not krabon ones.

Elizabeth said...

The question we all want answered is... is it legal in NYC? And is the throttle OK, or do I need to disable the throttle and do pedal-assist steam bike only?

But hey... I'd love to see a cop trying to confiscate this puppy, boiler and all!

Pist Off said...

Alloy wheels are for training only, Freds know this. You rock the crabon wheels when you really can't have an exploding wheel, like in a race. Wait a minute...

N/A said...

In the winter, maybe some steamy pants yabbies would be nice.

Sylvester H. Roper said...

"...a highly efficient machine that's able to travel ten whole miles on a single tank of water..."


"There's nothing like having a potential bomb located right under your scranus to get the ol' blood pumping!

These two things go together...the minimal boiler size limits the maximum explosive force possible.

I assume since the inventor has enough common sense to survive to his advance age, he has the sense to make the steam line to the piston muck weaker than the boiler, and the place the steam line connection BEHIND him. This way any over pressure will blow the line and release pressure and scalding steam behind him. Like the way Stanley Steamers were built.


"A mix of Petrol and Kerosine" with the fuel tank is right next to the furnace's open flame.

This one in trickier. Need enough petrol to get the temperature up, but not enough to produce fumes that could make it to the open flame. Note kerosene lamps have an open flame next to the tank, and they are only dangerous if you drop them.

Funwhileitlasted said...

I watched the choo choo train coming and then going.

Nothing New Under The Sun said...

It's been done before

McFly said...

Geoff Hudspith is just lonely and wants people to notice and talk to him. That bike is a cry for help.

Frickus Rungus said...

Combine the steam powered bike with some rail guides, like this and you've got a winner!

Grump said...

Just think. If you drink a lot of beer, you can ride 10 miles on that bike, and then fill the tank up again.......Not sure if I'd want to draft off it, though, on the return trip...

Spokey said...


one highlight of the train video: the guy flipping a bird to the video taker @ 2:30 but the best is @ 2:35. Love it when the picture taker is having his picture taken.

i did note that the wheel squealing on the curve reminded me of my front breaks.

dancesonpedals said...

I look at the steam powered bike and think, another loss for trainspotting

pro bikers aren't real bicyclists said...

"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."

hahaha, too funny.

Pro bicyclists don't ride bikes to get to hotels or to run errands or any other practical purpose. They only ride for race related activities like training, racing, or sponsor promotion.

bieks said...

They named their team Segafredo?!?! I wonder if they realize that's Latin for "Freds with particularly saggy moobs".

1904 Cadardi said...

Do you have to chant along with the steam bike while going up hills? I think I can, I think I can.

Dooth said...

Frommie was running alloy rims, yes--interesting. Frommie running the Tour de France uphill without a bike--funny.

Drock said...

The answer to helmet hair, when finished on the steam bike remove helmet and release pressure valve, put hair in steam cloud and style to your liking. For me though I prefer my hair to look as if a helmet has been on it, I also wear tights in summer time cause I can.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

10 miles on a tank of water? PFFFFT!!! Why not a closed loop system with a condenser and water recovery? The water tank would then only be used to supply make up water and the limiting factor would be the fuel tank. Oh and you'll need a steam boiler operating engineer's certificate to ride that thing, wheher it's pedal assist or steam power alone you're rocking.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Riding that bike
High as a kite
Casey Jones you better
Watch your Scranus

leroy said...

My dog saw the Nanty Narking reference and informed me "This blog is too educational."

I'm trying to figure out if he meant "too" as in "overly" or "too" as in contra "is not."

For a talking dog, he's sometimes kind of hard to understand.

Very Slim Pickens said...

A lantern like coal miners carry. If every Fred buys a steam punk they'll be helping make coal mining great again.

Little Toot said...

Instead of a bell on that steamer bike you could have a whistle. What fun!

Arizona hillbilly said...

"Doing the bear"
Whoo hoo!

Anonymous said...

You just encapsulated the inspiration for the entire history of bicycle advancements.

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