Wanted: for international brake-napping
7.10.08 by Buffalo Bill
As is well-known, I am firmly of the opinion that, after a pair of eyes, a decent braking system is the most important piece of safety equipment that a cyclist possesses. We have all heard the arguments marshalled by the no-front-brake posse, and we all (at least those of us who understand basic physics) know that a front-braked fixie stops quicker than one without. According to cyclingnews:
In the third edition of Bicycling Science, David Gordon Wilson demonstrates that the maximum deceleration of a crouched rider on a standard bike (that is, not a recumbent) on a dry road is 0.56g. Try to brake any harder than that and you go over the handlebars, which is the limit condition, as the limit from tyre adhesion of vehicles that don’t pitch over (tandems, recumbents and cars) is about 0.8g.
If you brake with only the rear wheel, according to Wilson, the limit is 0.256g, because braking effectively shifts your weight forward, reducing the load on the rear wheel to the point that it skids at that deceleration. Once a tyre is skidding, its braking effectiveness is reduced because you no longer have sticky solid rubber in contact with the road, but a lubricating layer of molten rubber.
But as can be seen with the fashion for front-mounting, practicality is not always uppermost in the minds of the young urban bicyclists of this city. Yes, style can, and has, superseded function as a priority amongst certain sections of my younger pedalling brethren. And enraged by my own reluctance to declare the death of Newton’s Laws, they have formulated a dastardly plan to strip me of my retarding mechanisms, and, no doubt, hold it hostage until I accede to their demands. At this point, I am not aware what those demands might be. A commitment to wear tennis socks for a year, perhaps. A lifetime’s service to House of Pistard, maybe. Whatever they may be, I say to the conspirators, NO! I will not submit.
In the meantime, if you see this brake, please let me know. There is no doubt that whoever has it has no idea how to use it properly, much less cherish it the way that I used to. And to those heretics over at Bottles and Chains who are affording the criminals a platform for their perverted campaign, I say, shame on you! Can’t you think of a way to drive up traffic to your site that doesn’t involve sponsoring an international criminal conspiracy?