Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

07 March 2017

Speed Weaponry?

One of the best things about getting older is that the statute of limitations expires.

At least, it's expired for anything I did in my youth.  Now, I wasn't a juvenile crime spree.  Most of my misdeeds, I would say, fall under the category of indiscretions rather than real, hard-core criminality.

Probably the most serious offense I committed was when I crossed the border from Quebec to Vermont more than three decades ago.  I was riding; when the border guard asked where I was going, I said "home".

"Where is that?"

"New York."

He waved me through. Perhaps he thought I was going to ride to Lake Champlain and take the ferry from the Vermont to the Empire State.  Little did he know I was on my way to the Big Apple.

Or what was inside my handlebars.  I'd heard that others had smuggled, uh, medicinal herbs in a similar fashion.  And, in those days, people used to cross the US-Canada border the way people cross the George Washington Bridge on any work day. If anything, I may have been questioned more than the average border-crosser because, not only way I riding a bike, I had long hair and a beard(!).

Of course, that trick wouldn't work today.  But, apparently, that doesn't stop people from trying a new version of it in a place where it has even less chance of working.

Last week, a Transportation Security Administration employee confiscated a disassembled gun someone tried to hide in the tires of a packed bicycle.  I guess the would-be smuggler thought the rubber would somehow render the gun parts and ammo invisible to scanners.   

Or maybe he or she was going to a race and packing heat in the tires is a new form of "mechanical doping".  For all I know, the reaction of the gun firing--even if accidentally--might make the bike go faster.  

Whatever the failed smuggler's motivation, the incident made me think of Zipp, which advertises its carbon fiber wheels, handlebars and other wares as "speed weaponry."

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