|According to some this is an AMAZING sink.|
|One of the guests drying her hands after using the bathroom.|
And something as simple as a skid requires vaulting around the bicycle like it’s a piece of gym equipment…
|Fixie skid followed by double-twist dismount.|
But on the whole bicycle design is dictated by the people who ride them ride them, hence BMXs for jumping shit, mountain bikes for mountains and tri-bikes for men who wear mid-riff singlets. Sadly, however, there are bicycles that are designed for people who don’t really ride, for which I reserve a special type of scorn. To wit I present, the hybrid.
|Long thought to be a real animal, the platypus is in fact a hybrid of a duck and an otter.|
I can see where the idea for the hybrid came about. Back in the eighties people started using their mountain bikes about town and saw there were several advantages to their design for this on-road riding. But there were some disadvantages also. So then some nutter wondered, what if we crossed a mountain bike with a road bike? Sounds good in theory, yeah, but the hybrid didn’t live up to the hype. It’s like when I woke up the other day thinking, “What if I crossed a Jack Russell with an Alsation? I’d have a rat dog capable of chasing rats the size of small children?” Yes, no and maybe. The real problem here is that giant rats don’t exist. And the dog would be ugly as sin. The hybrid bicycle suffers in much the same way.
|A grotesque aberration. A dog that can track a rabbit, then flush it out of its burrow. A Jack-A-Bee.|
The hybrid bike could just as easily been designed by someone who asked, “What if we designed a bike for people who don’t actually ride?”
The bike I rode had the bars way up high but the seat set way back from the bottom bracket, so that when I rode out of the saddle the bars just about hit me in the chin, but when I peddled sitting the bars were a surprisingly long way away.
The other thing about this bike that I disliked instantly was all the gears it had. What use could anyone have for all those gears, I sneared to myself as I rode off. Turns out, you live in Buderim, you’ll need nearly all those gears. Coming home from Mooloolabah I climbed a 13% gradient. Now, if you know as little about gradients as I do, then just take it as read that anything that requires a gradient sign on the roadside is sufficiently steep to require loads of gears also. The single speed that I had moments before regretted not bringing on holiday with me would have seen me popping some cartlidge straight through my knee.
I must say though that even as unfit as I am and as steep as the hill was I still didn’t manage to get the chain down onto the smallest front chainring. Surely the point at which that thing is required is the point at which you can get off and walk faster.
Hybrids rarely turn out any good. Those who like to drive large cars but still want to bullshit themselves about their contribution to the environment have been buying hybrids for about a decade now, but for what gain? The best of the hybrids still can’t match the Mini Cooper for fuel economy. And when you compare 4.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres against 6 or 7 (for a small car) or 10/11 for a large car…well it all seems like death by degrees compared with the obvious and simple solution. You know, getting off your fat arse and riding a bike.
|An evolutionary dead end?|