Thursday, February 25, 2010


That's the only word for it. Snizzle. It deposits an unbelievable layer of slush, glop, and slooshy icewater in piles (yes, this is the only way I know of for water to 'pile,' outside of laboratory conditions) all over the edges of the road, and leaps up and away from the tires of passing traffic (and directly at your face.) Sometimes it's snowing, sometimes it's raining, sometimes it is, incredibly, doing both at the same time. And it's been coming down for three days.

As my grandfather would have said, "Yack."

I'll admit, it's keeping me off the bike, although I keep thinking that if I was truly as hardcore as I'd like to think I am I'd be forging my fearless way out into it anyway, armed with my waterproof gear. But, then I look at the 4- and 5-inch piles of crap lining the roads and I think better of it. At least until cabin fever drives me out there.

I suppose I shouldn't complain too much: it's been a very dry winter, with days on days of clean cycling weather. This is just February being February: and I bet March decides to be March too.

And this all serves to convince me that although reinventing the wheel may be a nifty intellectual challenge, it's probably just a good rule for engineers to let ancient, fully functional designs well enough alone: a class of engineers at Yale have come up with a spokeless bicycle wheel that would almost certainly gack and die if faced with the crap lying around on Ottawa's streets right now.


  1. There is no way this bike would work for me either. We have had 10 weeks of snowy weather, blizzard conditions and gale force wind. What happened to the full carbon body, looks like it weighs a tone.

  2. Have to agree, and while the engineering challenge is probably great, you do have to ask yourself, "why?" Like this entry on a site I quite like (the Steampunk Workshop) - so he's quite wrapped up in creating a recumbent, front-wheel-drive bike, and I'm sure that's a great mental exercise (and kudos to him for actually building the thing) but one look at it and I said, "So, um.... how do you turn without hitting your own legs?"

    Ah well. I remind myself that at one point we didn't even have bikes, until someone came up with a really loopy engineering problem that they decided to solve.