Bike trailers and square eggs

In Swedish / på svenska.

With all due respect to theoretical discussions, sometimes the concepts must go forth into sunlight and directly act upon reality. Our theoretical and philosophical concepts affect us much more, and at a deeper level, than we pretend, but they do so by working on the world we live in, of course.

Yesterday I let loose one physical manifestation of a complex of concepts – my bike trailer:

The pictures are from a mobile camera; hence the quality. The trailer is a Monark, purchased at Sportson at Backaplan in Gothenburg (they ordered it for me; I expect most Swedish bike shops could do so) for a few thousand Swedish kronor. It’s quite large, as the picture shows, and it has one very big advantage compared to most trailers found in bike shops: cargo capacity. Most trailers are approved for around 20-30 kilos, but this one can carry 200 kilos according to Monark. I’d prefer not to, since the downslopes might then become a bit too exciting, but the cargo capacity should rarely be a problem.

Pedaling forward isn’t a problem, even going uphill, but downhill there are sometimes interesting physical phenomena. The trailer has no brakes and when it pushes on the bike it prevents the bike leaning when turning, which is an interesting experience. It seems to be an excellent design overall – it’s sturdy and robust and just the right size to go through doorways, such as that from the bike storage room. You will realize, though, that Gothenburg isn’t perfectly bike-friendly. Yesterday I encountered a pair of bike gates, of the kind you must pass in an S-turn, and that wasn’t possible with the trailer attached. It’s easy to disconnect so it’s not really a problem.

This time I went to Backaplan and bought fertilizer for the garden allotment:

Here the trailer itself is better visible. Carrying larger loads would be helped by building a wooden frame to prevent cargo from going into the wheels, but it hasn’t been necessary so far.

It’s a great contraption: saves energy, gives me more exercise, incredibly much cheaper than driving a car (at least if it lasts – I’ve only had it for a year so we’ll see in twenty years’ time), much more fun than dragging those bags around on the tram, plus you get plenty of attention… People stare, so it’s a great buy for the stylish and beautiful!

To end, and to contrast, here’s a physical manifestation of a slightly less ingenious conceptual complex:

It’s a square egg. I got an egg cuber for my birthday, and it works perfectly. It’s a terrific innovation for us Carl Barks and Don Rosa fans (see “Lost in the Andes” and “Return to Plain Awful”), but it’s not strictly necessary…

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gustaf on May 3, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Carl Barks and Don Rosa were extremely well read story tellers, I have certainly got some of my knowledge of the world from them!

    On a slightly more serious note – the fact that a Chinese company has “bailed out” Saab is worth thinking about. The Western world is having (and will have) great problems, not the least being that Asia, especially China, but also India, will flex their muscles.

    I bet that in a few years time the Chinese company has learnt all that Saab can teach them, and then the Chinese can move on by themselves. Designing, producing and selling cars by themselves.

    We used to say the the West was superior in advanced science, technology and production. Not sure how long that will be true …

    • Commenting on Saab is fraught with peril! We’ll see who bails out whom and where it all ends.

      If some of the ideas I’m trying to explore here are right, there won’t be much carmaking going on in China in a few years…

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