NASA Image of the Day

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Top speed, 32 miles an hour, Dawn sits astride her brand new e-bike (a prize won at work), excitedly strapping on her new helmet in the dark, so that none of the neighbours see her introductory ride...

Good thing, too: as she hits the pedals to initiate the brakes (which aren't located there, of course, as she remembered them being, on the bicycle on which she first began to ride) before actually going anywhere, panicking, she squeezes the ride hand control...which also happens to be the accelerator - how surprising! - slamming into the driveway railroad tie, and ingloriously managing to fall over, as the bike shoots towards the neighbour's porch, without her on it, rather like a sailing hand held car - without the remote.

Somewhat predictably, it moves amazingly faster, without an actual body on it. (Cough.) The body sits blinking rather awkwardly on the asphalt, looking decidedly relieved that the very first attempt at learning the controls - without an actual manual, with all visible directions in Korean symbols, on the actual bike - occur in the dark, without anyone actually seeing......

Three tours around the neighbourhood, after learning where the headlights and the horn are, and not mixing them up, finally, along with a worn down battery later, she also discovers that there is no reverse, and that speeding up while going around a corner can result in a Flintstone like-movement which causes foot dragging and a small amount of swearing, in order to avoid flying into a car or a sign. Also, sticking both feet straight out, like the flying nun, does not, contrary to the balance of physics philosophy, make things steadier, but it does cause both a windshift and a shimmy while heading towards the side of a barn. Again, experimentation in the dark is a blessed thing, and no actual collisions occur, as the finite aspects of learning where the controls are, and discovering the joy of small circles instead of reverse, becomes a learned, and precious dance movement on wheels.

Hurrah to ebikes! I think I'll like this.....wink. Ah, the speeding wind through the hair, mashed underneath my beanie!! Is this what the Model T felt like, as the scarf flew through the wind...? Be still my heart! (I think I came close to losing it, when I stopped jamming the pedals backwards to stop....grin.)