First Ride

Monday, May 18, 2009 12:50:45 AM Categories: Bob Knight's fairing Correx corriboard corflute fairing

Virtually all of this post is from Bob. In fact all of it. No virtuals at all. I have just done some strategic editing so that passing clergymen and social workers are not unduly disturbed by the use of certain concise terms.
As you can see much progress over the last week or so although not too much this weekend as I have just got swine flu or something, probably. I've been feeling very average this weekend.

I've been able to ride it up and down the garden in this state, although a worrying thing emerged. In order to fit into the fairing as it is, my arms and partickly my elbows have to be held very close to my body. This renders the machine unrideable. Tt seems you need that little bit of give to cushion the natural movement as you ride. If you are rigid it all goes very wrong quite quickly. It makes sense but it still surprised me. I think I will have to cut arm holes in the sides of the fairing so that I can still steer it. This will unfortunately make it less aerodynamic but will make it rideable at least and as a bonus it means I will probably be able to self start (maybe). Possibly I could cover the arm holes with lycra with a slit in or something.

I took it for another ride on Saturday. I did the full White Rock road again but this time I rode from my house since I'm more confident with the steering now. So another 50km of practise including the (deleted adjective) Ashley Bridge which is very scary on a normal bike let alone a low racer with dodgy handling. I also have to stop at right hand juntions and get off, wheel it over and restart when no cars are coming. I managed to average 39.1kph including the town and the restarts. Lots of very fast straight bits of road and on one stretch I spun out at 64kph. The handling is becoming more natural but I still worry about fast corners. On the way back into Rangiora I usually skirt around the town and come down West Belt (50kph limit) to avoid riding through the town. So I'm riding down West Belt at 50kph (it's slightly down hill) and a (deleted descriptive term for a person of whom the writer disapproves) in a car comes out of a side road from my left and slams on the brakes at the last minute. It's pretty scary when cars do that. He then overtakes me very slowly and indicates left and moves left whilst only just in front of me; remember I'm doing 50 at this point. He realises his error at the last moment and slams his brakes on whilst just in front of me. Now, I always thought drum brakes were quite good, partickly on smaller wheels, however I can reliably inform you that they do not stop you as fast as you sometimes need to. I stopped in time by mere inches. He then puts the car into reverse because he can't see me anymore and he's missed his driveway. Until I shout loud enough to get his neighbours out. His excuse? I was going too fast. (Another deleted term giving Mr Knight's views on the driver concerned.) Of course I'm now in a Very High Gear with a small audience, not fun. I'm believe I probably informed him exactly how scary the experience was from a cyclists point of view.
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