Sunday, 13 November 2011

gravity bike aka guffbike

Well it's been some time coming, but finally guffbike rolled. The mild autumn weather and fresh breeze made the mind race ahead for what was in store today. Dry roads, no mushy and slippy leaves and thankfully, no ice. Well, the dream of dry roads didn't come to anything, they were still damp, but that wasn't going to stop the fun.

Guffbike has been tinkered with in preperation for the first run. Gussyboy was top wrenchmonkee and Andy's weld of the seatpost onto the toptube (downtube in normal configuration) ensured that the family jewels wouldn't take a hammering. Guffbike is currently fashioning a hip 'distressed' look. This isn't intentional, just a by product of welding, using thinners to remove decal adhesive and some good 'ole surface rust.  In other words, it doesn't need to try, it just has style.....who am I kidding?

The Cuilt Brae was chosen as the test for the shakedown. This is a popular hill for cyclists and is also used for hillclimb competitions. The other bonus, it's on my doorstep. The plan was to start with a sensible head and roll down from the 30mph/National Speed Limit sign. That idea didn't last long, we drove past and ended up at the first corner. Gussyboy then headed back down to catch some video - I'm sure he was thinking £250, here we come 'you've been framed'.
Note to self: must weed the patio and stop playing with bikes.

My heartbeat was increasing, the visor was clipped shut, right foot on the peg, gentle push with the left foot and it was go. Guffbike doesn't take long to gather pace and I found the increasing wind noise an indication that this thing was beginning to move and move quickly. This section of the Cuilt Brae is not the steepest and I soon passed Gussyboy at 32.1mph, not bad for a first run. Guffbike was quickly checked over and then placed back in the car for another lift. I decided to go up the hill another 50metres or so. This would also enable me to test a 90 degree bend and then tuck in for the roll to the bottom. Exiting the bend, the run certainly felt quicker , but I couldn't see a thing. Somehow I had closed the vent on my lid and the visor was steaming up. I was hoping that the visor would clear as the airflow increased, but it didn't. I decided to just let Guffbike roll and peer through the small gap of clear acrylic. The result was a second run of 34.1mph. A roadbike and aero-tuck can roast the full descent of the Cuilt at 45, possibly 50mph. What can Guffbike do? Time will tell.

The movie quality isn't that great due to compression. However, Guffbike is really that quiet.

Stay upright

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