The French are getting a bit uppity about the British bikes in the velodrome.
The British have joked that they use round wheels and the French have swallowed the story, hook, line and sinker. Read about it here in the Standard.
But I doubt, that the story is very far from the truth. Even your car from humble run-arounds upwards, has its wheels properly balanced, at manufacture and when new tyres are fitted. We’ve all been in cars, where there has been vibration because of out-of-balance wheels.
So I suspect that British cycling has borrowed from Formula One and other industries that spin things fast, and developed extremely accurate roundness and balance sensing for bicycle wheels. So they run straighter and truer than the best the French can do!
I didn’t do the work myself, but forty years ago, I worked in a department at Plastics Division of ICI, that did a lot of calculations in this area, to try to stop vibrations in chemical vessels. So the theory is nothing new.
It is the application of technology to bicycles, helmets and other things, that have given the British the edge. I doubt that cycling is the only sport to have benefited either!
I can remember as a child, when Mens tennis was dominated by Australians. But this year, those small countries; Scotland and Yorkshire had a better Wimbledon.
What’s gone wrong?
I suppose that Aussies can argue they have a world-class driver in Mark Webber, but even he, needs to drive a car designed and made in the UK.
This has been announced and here is Jenson Button’s views in the Telegraph.
They could always do what Wimbledon has done and put a roof over the circuit.
The helmet was a perfect replica of that worn by the 1976 Formula One World Champion, in the same way that Kimi himself makes quite a good replica of James Hunt.
There are lots of reasons to admire James Hunt, ranging from his “sex: breakfast of champions” overall patch to his comment to Niki Lauda in 1978: “To hell with safety. All I want to do is race.”
I remember meeting someone, who’d been at a black tie do, which James Hunt had also attended. He didn’t do black tie, so turned up in jeans and bare feet.
I should say they don’t make them like Hunt anymore. But then they can’t as he was only thirteen days younger than me and you can’t turn the clock back.
According to this story in the Telegraph, McLaren have offered to loan equipment to Williams, to help them recover from the fire at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Perhaps sportsmanship isn’t totally dead yet!
May I suggest that we all show our disgust at the non-cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix, by not watching or listening to the race. Even without satellite TV, I’m certain I can find something else to watch or listen to.
I suspect that the race clashes on Sunday with the London Marathon and I might go to see that anyway.
I have been listening to the Malaysian Grand Prix today on BBC Radio 5 Live.
It has been a disaster for Sky, as for most of the race, it has been raining cats and dogs.
So as the late great Brian Redhead once said. “If television had been invented first, radio would be the dominant medium, as the pictures are better!”
The BBC commentators are proving him right, by bringing interesting guests to the microphone, explaining everything that is going on extremely well. But then, the BBC has had all that practice with cricket.
If I was paranoid, after reading Brian Redhead’s Wikipedia entry, I’d think I had a ruptured appendix, as he died of one, after complaining of pain in his left side and leg. But I’ve had my pain for years, so it’s probably nothing to worry about.
I said in the Day 44 post, that I rushed home to watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I shouldn’t have bothered, as it certainly lived down to my nickname of it of Formula Boring. That is after Sebastian Vettel crashed out early.
I should have gone to Waitrose, as I need some toilet bleach. Now that is really interesting! I wish I had. Unfortunately, nothing in this house needs paiting, so I can’t do any of that for excitement instead.
I can’t say I’m sorry Formula One is going to Sky, especially, as the real Grand Prix, like Monaco and Silverstone, will probably still be on the BBC. But races like Abu Dhabi, India and Malaysia could really only be improved by starting again with circuits that need to be driven, rather than steered.
I never thought I hear these words together, but then some of those who work in Formula One have a different set of morals to those that I do!
I doubt it will happen, but read this piece in the Telegraph. Here is the update at the end.
UPDATE on 08/09: Bernie Ecclestone, F1′s chief executive, has now played down the possibility of a race in Tehran. “It’s not a question of politics,” Ecclestone said. “I’m not political. If a country is peaceful and safe then that is fine with me. But we have three or four countries waiting their turn. I don’t think Iran is top of our list at the moment.” Of course, Bernie has never been known to perform a U-turn.
If you could read Bernie’s mind, you’d make a fortune.