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Posts Tagged ‘electric’

TreeHugger frequently covers biking. And since my four-year-old grandson has mastered all but the braking on his new two-wheeler and expects me to start biking with him, I think I better cover bikes, too.

Here is an article by Derek Markham from the TreeHugger website about a new bike that aims to combine the best of two worlds.

Writes Markham, “When you go from riding a skinny-tired road bike to a mountain bike with fat tires, it opens up a whole new world of cycling, even if you don’t ever leave the pavement. With fat tires (and perhaps some suspension), your bike can float right over bumps and cracks in the road without rattling your teeth, hopping up or down curbs is almost effortless …

“But even with these advantages, there are still riding situations that can bog down a mountain bike, such as sandy and snowy conditions, and if you really want to go where most people don’t, then a fat bike is the next logical step.

“Fat bikes, with their extremely wide (4″) tires, can make a sandy wash or a gravel road as easy to ride as a packed singletrack (well, almost as easy), and riding in and on snow and mud can be something you seek out instead of try to avoid. But those big fat tires also take some extra effort, and if your thighs aren’t quite up to the task of pedaling a fat bike through and over slush, snow, sand, gravel, or mud, a fat bike ride can be grueling. However, when you add the power of a 500W electric motor to a fat bike, such as Biktrix has done, a virtually unstoppable Juggernaut is created.” More here.

Hmmm. An upstoppable Juggernaut might impress my grandson, but I am pretty sure he doesn’t want me to be as impressive as he is. He told his dad Saturday, “You need to be slower than me.”

Besides, the electric part reminds me of mopeds, and I really don’t like mopeds.

Photo: Biktrix

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A couple weeks ago, I wrote that I was reading Jason Elliot’s book on Iran. That was my post about the rediscovery of the “extinct” Caspian horse.

Elliot slams through millenia of history in that part of the world kind of like the comedy troupe that purports to perform “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” in 90 minutes. He is very good at it, I think. But maybe that’s because I know so little about the endlessly shifting borders of Central Asia and the Middle East.

Among other interesting tidbits in the book is this one on the Baghdad Battery. In Mirrors of the Unseen, Elliot writes that this ancient form of battery was “constructed of an earthenware shell containing an iron rod insulated by an asphalt plug from an outer copper sleeve. A modest electric current is produced when the housing is filled with an electrolytic solution such as lemon juice.”

Wikipedia has more. “The Baghdad Battery, sometimes referred to as the Parthian Battery, is the common name for a number of artifacts created in Mesopotamia, during the dynasties of Parthian or Sassanid period (the early centuries AD), and probably discovered in 1936 in the village of Khuyut Rabbou’a, near Baghdad, Iraq. These artifacts came to wider attention in 1938 when Wilhelm  König, the German director of the National Museum of Iraq, found the
objects in the museum’s collections. In 1940, König published a paper speculating that they may have been galvanic cells, perhaps used for electroplating gold and silver objects … This interpretation continues to be considered as at least a hypothetical possibility. If correct, the artifacts would predate Alessandro Volta’s 1800 invention of the electrochemical cell by more than a millennium.”

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