Bike Shaped Objects

Funky bikes and news
Love-starved Lotus on eBay

The siren song of the Lotus project

Lotus EliteI want this Lotus. If I was much younger and much less wise I would bid on it. Actually, if I had a garage and a better set of tools I would be bidding on it. I’m sure my wife would eventually forgive me.

This is the kind of car that pulls in us suckers. It’s all there, mostly. The important bits are all there. OK, the engine isn’t running. But seriously, how hard can it be to get a twin-cam, dual-carb engine running again? I’m sure the needed parts are available at the local car parts store.

The seller’s description is brief and accurate, “The car is not running and nothing works.” He or she also wins points in my book for having no reserve. With three days to go the bid is just over $200. That’s not bad for what was once the most expensive 4-cyl. car in the world. (Maybe I could rent a garage and borrow some tools.)

The Elite was an attempt by Lotus to move upscale. A move that failed to gain much traction. I love the looks of this car, but many automotive critics found it ugly. The odd body however produced a drag coefficient of 0.3. That’s not bad. (I assume that number is when the headlights are down.)

Of course, early cars were plagued with problems, but most of those were worked out by 1979 when this example was built.

So somebody please buy this, because Harbor Freight has a sale on engine hoists.

Look at this on eBay

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8-Tracks are Go!

8-Tracks, the ultimate anti-status format

As far a musical formats go, I don’t think any was put down as much as 8-tracks. So called for their 4 program “sides,” each with left and right stereo tracks. That’s a lot of data to stuff onto one narrow strip of tape. Hence the rather poor sound quality.

They weren’t all bad though. The cases were tough. Much more durable than cassettes. They was no rewind or flipping involved. Once I fell asleep listening to Moby Grape and when I woke 8 hours later it was still playing. Alas, I lent that tape to a friend and never saw it again.

As collectibles go 8-tracks have passed their prime. A very narrow selection of ages have any affection for 8-tracks and most of us have let it go. Or, in my case, are about to let it go. There are still many tapes and players for sale on eBay, but not many buyers.

I have a collection of 8-tracks and a working player/recorder that the universe is telling me to part with. Never listen to the tapes any more. I can think of no reason to lug them across the country in the next move. So read the details below and add a comment if you live near SF and are interested. They are free to a good home.

If nobody claims them by Monday, I’ll post them on Craigslist.

The Player

8-tracks playerYes, it all works. I had some blank tapes and recorded on them with no problem. One dial is missing but the nub turns easily. The headphone and microphone jacks worked when last used, but sitting may have lent to corrosion.

I would also clean the tape heads before use. They are the great attractors when it comes to dust and grime.

For electronics geeks there is a circuit diagram on the bottom.

I’m guessing that this once a very expensive piece of equipment.

The Tapes

some 8-tracks some more 8-tracks

The tapes shown above are the ones with the best pictures. If you look closely you’ll see lots of peeling and buckling paper. Oh yeah, dust, lots of dust. I have 29 in all. I had 30, but as I said, Moby Grape, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

The tapes represent many genres and sensibilities. Here is the list:

The Good

Hot Tuna    Hot Tuna
Ike & Tina Turner    Workin Together
Jefferson Airplane    The Worst Of
Jimmy Hendrix    Band of Gypsys
Paul Simon    Greatest Hits
Creedence Clearwater Revival    Best Of
Johnny Cash    Live at Folsom Prison
The Byrds    Byrdmania

The Bad

ABBA    Greatest Hits vol. 2
Captain & Tennille    Greatest Hits
Slim Whitman    All My Best
The Chipmunks    Christmas
Victor Buelna    Inspiraciones
Zamfir    The Magic Of

The Lame

Al Stewart    Time Passages
Billy Joel    The Stranger
Jim Croce    Time in a Bottle
Neil Diamond    Gold
The New Christy Minstrels    Greatest Hits

The Assorted

Assorted    25 Years of Recorded Comedy
Assorted    Car Wash
Assorted    Movie Themes

The Blues

Billie Holiday    The Real Billie Holiday Story
Elmore James    Screamin Blues
John Lee Hooker    I’m
Slim Harpo    The Best Of

The Elvises

Elvis Presley    A Legendary Performer vol. 2
Elvis Presley    Elvis Country
Elvis Presley    For Everyone! (Still in original plastic)


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New bike, walking trail would link N.J.’s 2 largest cities
largest cities

N.J.’s largest cities become bike-nected

When the $480 million reconstruction of the Wittpenn Bridge is complete, the wider span is expected to improve traffic along the busy stretch between Kearny and Jersey City.

Bike and walk advocates say the new Wittpenn Bridge can help bridge a gap in New Jersey’s leg of the East Coast Greenway

But the rebuilt bridge will also serve as a vital component of a new biking and walking trail connecting Jersey City and Newark.

“We saw an opportunity with the new WittPenn Bridge,” said Cynci Steiner, executive director of the Bike & Walk Coalition. “And now that that project is well underway, connections are needed on both sides, so that the investment by NJDOT in bike and pedestrian access on that crossing is fully realized.”


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China’s colorful bike wars heat up
Chinese bike wars

Bike share becomes bike wars

Strolling through Beijing these days means seeing piles of bikes from Chinese start-ups. They are aiming to improve urban mobility and promote greener transport. Each company has it’s own distinct color setting up the colorful bike wars.

The top two firms, Mobike and Ofo, have picked orange and yellow for their respective wheels, making the China bike wars an exceptionally colorful one. Money from big investors have pushed company valuations to $1 billion each. But it remains unclear how either expects to make money off cheap bike rides costing a couple of cents.

“Our financial situation is in a very strong position, and we are not in a rush to think about turning a profit,” Mobike CEO Davis Wang told CNBC.

Source: CNBC

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The wheels that set her free

2 wheels change everything

In September of 1895, a young Jewish mother from Boston rolled into Chicago astride a Sterling bicycle and declared victory. She had set out 15 months earlier, leaving her three young children and husband behind, in an attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle.

Though her purchase on that title would prove dubious. In addition to riding approximately 7,000 miles by bicycle she made liberal use of trains and steamships. She had, nevertheless, succeeded spectacularly in another of her goals. To become famous as an international symbol of women’s emancipation, and it was the bicycle that had set her free.

Source: Salon

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