Colonial Diaspora

Dress Rehearsal 

Saturday, May 30, 2009 11:06:29 AM Categories: Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing
To Nelson for 9 am. Collect key (thanks James - R)(thanks Andrew - J) and there, breezy from a 4 am start and a 250 mile mountain drive of which we won't calculate the carbon footprint, was Mr R G Knight sitting outside Trafalgar Park in his car where he'd been practising his Anglo-Saxon since 10 to 9 waiting for me to arrive.

Onto the track, and a few nervous laps without the top, and then on with the top and lo! success. The boy was able to ride it. The oval track is 521 metres long if you use a commercial lap measurer, 519 metres long if you use my 48 inch penny farthing, and 520 metres long if you go by the Council's survey; and it's a bit narrower on the far side where the rugby football authorities felt empowered to snip a bit of width off for their new stand (1). This means that the far corner is a bit squirrelly, a sort of evil combination of a sharpened curve and a wrong camber. So it took a good number of laps before he looked comfortable and was riding roughly in the middle of the track rather than round the outskirts. Lap times were hovering around the 37 second mark.

Then along poled Nigel and Annaliese. Annaliese is a pretty serious UCI cyclist - sort of the NZ criterium champion - and she doesn't spell her name that way but I can't remember how she does spell it and neither can anyone else. I spell it that way because I have a particularly angelic niece who does. And lacking any other photographic decoration from the day, I now somewhat irrelevantly attach the niece.
(The niece sits on a daughter - mine - who Members may recall as an eight-year-old recumbent cyclist from, oh, about eleven years ago.)
Annaliese (the cyclist) lacks a recumbent so we shall have to lend her one. Can't be missing out on opportunities to get serious cyclists onto serious cycles. Nigel is Nigel Farrell who designed and built a very elegant FWD SWB which is in one of the BHPC Newsletters, I forget which one, because I put it there. (I didn't forget which one because I put it there. It's there because - oh never mind.) Nigel has been riding this machine corriboard-faired for the last 3 years at around the speed that the NZ Hour Record stands, and is still riding this machine because the new one he's building isn't finished yet. Aarn Tate is somehow involved in this build: I didn't quite get how because I wasn't paying attention.

So pretty soon we had the both of them quietly trundling round at about 30 mph, and Annaliese took some photos with Bob's camera, and I can't show you them right now cos my computer doesn't have the right sized USB port. It's a very old computer. It's 5.

Then we had to stop because the Rugby Footballers were due, they occupying the redundant grass bit that you often find in the middle of a valuable cycle track, and we all went home to fettle.

Come the evening we returned and everyone - there were lots of us by now - swept 520 metres of tarmac and we all tried to work out how to time everything accurately and everyone's relying on a chap called Paul Dunlop who is the only member of the NZ HPV club with organisational abilities and who is therefore its Hon. Sec. The NZ club is called KiwiHPV and I daresay you could google it if your USB ports are the right size.

So tomorrow at dawn the ride will start and we will see if
1. Bob's chainring can withstand the excitement and
2. he falls off and
3. I can find a piece of paper to write down how to spell Annaliese Farrell.


1.Which, in the event, is permanently unoccupied. (We do not comment on Rugby Football. We wish to live on unmolested.)

Foam nosecone 2 

I have two Black and Decker angle grinders. - I feel the Membership should know these things. - One is ancient and has now had the lead replaced because the wobbly plastick rubbishy bit that plugs into the back because Health-and-Safety can't countenance a person using a tool without there being fourteen levels of plug-in-ness to ensure maximum frustration (soldered, now, with lead-based solder which I gather can no longer be bought in Health-and-Safetyland) and minimum chance of electrocution because you can't cut through a live wire if the damned thing won't work. This has a wire brush on it because I am quite remarkably stupid and put the locking nut for discs down somewhere safe and cannot now find it.

The new one is a KG85 and I have just discovered this: that the front locking button bit thingy has been moved to the top of the instrument by some Stylemeister in the Marketing Dept. and you now need three hands to change a disc. Congratulations, Mr Black and Mr Decker. You may now step up onto the Rostrum next to me as Stupid Person Medal Winner.

(And while we're about it, why the *uck have you taken to calling your handtools 'Fire Storm'? Are the Buying Public that infantile? They're *ucking electric drills, for *uck'ssake. If you're into weapons manufacture for the American armed services then I can assure you that hopping about Afghanistan 3.7 metres from the nearest plug-in mains supply with a rotating 8mm drill bit is not going to have the Taliban heading for their caves, however sensuously you've created the bright orange plastic bodyshell. Which, for the record, is a considerable unimprovement because there are now no flat surfaces you can grip in a vice, you stupid, stupid dolt-heads.)

Anyway, back to the subject in hand. I am in receipt of further photos and it now appears Mr Knight has modified his concept of a foam bumper bar.


Gladwrap, if you spot the tell-tale yellow box under the new nose, is the Australasian equivalent of Cling-film. The final nose is of papier-mache, and I shall actually be seeing it tomorrow because Mr Knight is rather bravely going to set off before dawn and get here, we hope, in time to try it out on the track before the Rugby Football players take over Trafalgar Park for their afternoon's game. I shall then try to find out whether the Gladwrap is still in situ, and whether some waterproofing of the papier mache has taken place because if it hasn't we may be back to the bath sponge, since there is 'light rain' forecast for tomorrow in Nelson.  

Members who know Mr Knight will be concerned to see that the Ratracer has displaced the two penny farthings he normally keeps in his living room along with a pair of 28 inch wood-rimmed wheels. I have been in said living room and can assure you that the penny farthings are in the opposite corner. What this says about the saintliness of Mrs Bob Knight I leave to conjecture. 

Foam Nosecone 

Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:53:49 AM Categories: Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing Foam fairing
Bless my soul. Whatever possessed him to add a bath sponge to the front of his machine? When I suggested 'foam' to him I absolutely assure you I did not have this in mind. I mean I know he came to grief in Leicester but I'm at a loss to see how this can be prevented by this makeshift. This, Mr Knight tells me, is to replace the 'crappy papier mache' temporary nosecone he'd made. I think we may have to enquire further. It may be that he really has taken leave of his senses.

Foam fairing 

Thursday, May 28, 2009 4:32:06 AM Categories: Foam fairing

Right, here it is, freshly repaired. John Tetz, eat your heart out, because this is pure foam beauty. Well okay there are one or two slight blemishes but what in real life is perfect? The nose - well - truthfully - if I were given the choice of spending half an hour looking at the nose and half an hour looking at Allaneesha McHastings's - um - at certain body parts of Allaneesha McHastings (1) not normally on show, then it would be a close-run thing. Allaneesha McHastings since you ask is a forward young damsel from the girls' high school. As a matter of fact she came in to the local chirurgery the other day after a particularly energetic weekend's activities with a young man she'd met only two days before, and a person who we will not now name did spend half an hour looking at the aforenotmentioned body parts, and I divine that Allaneesha McHastings would have been a little more circumspect with her recreational enthusiasm had she known what she now knows about the young gentleman in question.


However we are not here to discuss Allaneesha McHastings's weekend hobbies: we are here to exhibit this superb example of a foam faired recumbent, and I'm sure I'll all agree with myself that it is very elegant indeed. When I run out of things to say about Mr Knight's fairing I may shed light on how it was made. I'm sure everyone's keen to know.


1. Allaneesha McHastings is not Amanda FitzHerbert's real name.

Workshop boots 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:38:03 AM Categories: Foam fairing

We are now days away from the Nelson race, so I have to make haste and repair my fairing. Since foam is so wondrous versatile and I am easily distracted, here is a picture of my workshop shoes. Engerlish Readers, of whom admittedly there is little evidence, must needs note that May is November in New Zealand and feet chill easily in a workshop. The shoes were once Holey Soleys and are so amazingly comfortable that I had no difficulty in persuading myself to pick up flip-flops wherever I find them - and flip-flops are all about the roadsides here after the holidaymakers have made holidays - and glue them on the soleys of my holeys. But the holeys admit of limited insulation whereas foam is truly fantastick as an insulator. And so these foam-faired Holey Soleys are now (as Mr Larrington would have it) this thing: Warm. They are also tremendously stylish and when the children, who are all teenagers at the moment, have friends round, they greatly appreciate their father being seen with large blue foam pouffes on his feet.

parking error 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:09:14 AM Categories: bike crash
Are removals men all stupid? When I say men, I mean boys. The oldest was about twenty, a cocky smartarse who told me I'd 'have had to dismount on that thing all the time anyway'. They had disobligingly parked right in the middle of the cycle lane.
I said 'If you could move a foot to the right there'd be enough room.'
Smartarse said 'I'm parked as close to the edge as I feel comfortable with for safety. A mountain bike came by earlier and rode round alright.'
I said 'So in thirty minutes when school finishes it will be safe for the children to ride onto the State Highway against the flow of traffic, and car drivers will be more likely to see them than they would be to see a huge removals van parked slightly in the road?'
'I'm not moving.'
The Police phoned me after they'd been out to the spot, and told me they'd blown the removals van up with a reasonably large charge of TNT and had shot all the removals men, whose bodies now formed an interesting obstruction on the cycle path. In New Zealand you are required to cycle on any provided cycle path 'if it is adequate'.


Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:22:31 AM Categories: bike crash Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing
Not a good day. The rain arrived and outstayed its welcome. But there was a brief dry period. And you know what happens when you've freshly minted a fairing and *need* to try it out. So out he went, and the Christchurch municipal authorities having failed in their statutory duty to provide proper fully-faired recumbent bicycle testing tracks, found a quiet road.

It has rained all weekend and caused me much nervousness about never having ridden it with the lid on. At about 3 pm there came a slight window in the weather. I loaded everything up and drove to a very quiet road to practice riding all sealed up. Well it was a debacle. I attempted two starts and failed on both times to be able to get going. I fell over hard on my right side both times and have lost skin off my right arm and bruised the elbow. The quiet road was also         busy and of course there were cars coming as I'm lying in the middle of the wet road, unable to get out of the        thing. - Bob

I shall not say whether I have edited that post of some of its emphasis, but it's all a bit dismaying, since it looks worryingly like he's going to arrive up here and have to ride it, for the first time ever, during the timed event. I have moved my Concern Level from Amber, to Slightly Darker Amber.


Friday, May 22, 2009 11:34:58 PM Categories: Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing

Windscreen added. Fairing finished. Commentary unnecessary. But rain and howling winds predicted for the next few days so methinks it won't get tried for a day or two.
I'd better look at my own foam fairing, lying desolate and forsaken with its broken struts, before next weekend, lest Bob come to the view that he isn't in the hands of a Master of Aerodynamicks. It would never do to divulge the depths of my incompetence.


Friday, May 22, 2009 10:04:16 AM Categories: Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing
We are close to being up-to-speed now. That is to say, I have very nearly updated this account so it actually matches the dates of the various adventures, and Mr K has very nearly completed the fairing, but I suspect not very much more is going to happen in the next few days on account of Rain. New Zealand has quite a lot of Rain, though it doesn't usually fall on Mr Knight who lives in the driest part of the country. The wettest part gets six metres a year, I'm told by a fairly unreliable source, but what source would be reliable in conditions like that? But it's raining in Rangiora where the brave chap lives and I shan't gloat by mentioning that it isn't raining 250 miles north of there which is where I have the good sense to live.


So here we are, and I assure everyone that he correctly spelt 'armholes'.


I cut the armholes tonight and started the template for the windscreen. It's all a bit snug now.
We're having some weather at the moment, the old Waimakariri bridge is shut again due to the scouring around the piles. Apparently 'they' are going to repile it and put a clip-on (cycle lane attached to side of bridge) at the same time. Allegedly. I read it in the newspaper tonight so it must be true, this may or may not be in my lifetime. - Bob
I gave the man some Lexan that I happened to have about my person, to be used for the actual windscreen which is close to the face a la Paul Davies fairings, so no jocund remarks about the transparency of cardboard if you please.

'nother trial run 

Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:02:21 AM Categories: Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing
In view of the fact that Blogs are supposed to be daily up-to-date records and whatnot this is a bit useless and rubbishy because I'm not entirely sure when this email appeared but I think it was a few days later. This proves I am stupid, which proof was not required by the BHPC since it has had ample evidence already. You have to be stupid to manage to lose the dates of your emails. (I should claim it as a triumph, along with installing a new printer without beating my computer to death with a 2 lbs claw hammer.)

Today went well with a few caveats.

The final three planks on the bottom of the fairing took me longer than I had anticipated and the temporary crappy nose took no time at all. However it was 11 o'clock before I was able to load the bike into the car where it fitted very well with only a wheel digging me in the ribs. I drove to Loburn School where I parked and unpacked everything and then repacked and drove home because I had forgotten my shoes. The fairing has been designed around these shoes with minimal clearance so only those would do. Anyway, back to the start again and unfortunately by this time the Nor' Wester had been switched on. Using Sir Beaufort's wonderful scale, I estimated the wind speed to be 5 gusting to 6. Within 200 m of the car I knew that it wasn't going to be a quick ride. I also knew immediately that I had got all the clearances spot on. No feet or knee strikes anywhere, all that effort early on has paid off. The gusts around the shelter belts and gateways etc. were truly 'orrible. Going out was mostly a block headwind with little chance to really put the hammer down to test the speed. I'd already decided where to turn because the road surface becomes really bad and gives me the eyeball jiggles which is most unpleasant. I slowed, pulled onto the verge and got blown over by the wind. Superficial damage only except the chain came off, not normally an issue when you can get at it. 10 minutes of swearing when you can't. Coming back was even more horrid, I was unable to pedal at all hard and just soft pedalled, coasted and even braked due to the gusting. Average for the ride was 38.9kph for 28km which is misleading given the condition. Plenty of exciting "Abbey Park" type flashbacks. Got home and realized that I'd not had a ride per se. I wasn't tired, so immediately got out another bike and did 50km in the wind which was a lot harder, 30.1 kph av. when really trying which says quite a lot. - Bob

The photo shows the temporary cone and, lest you imagine that Mr Knight has grown a head of hair and turned into a very youthful-looking transvestite, Miss Claudia Knight.

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