Sharon recently started a new job in a bicycle shop. She’s really loving it and has become fascinated by the environmentally friendly, two-wheeled form of transport. Danielle doesn’t really see the attraction. She prefers to travel by Sedan Chair, although Sharon is convinced that is because of the two very muscular men Danielle employs to carry it for her.
Here is Sharon pedalling away like mad.
and here is Danielle’s sedan chair, although, unfortunately, she hasn’t trained her bearers very well yet and they keep leaving without her.
Last weekend, Sharon and Danielle were in the pub and Sharon was talking about her favourite subject. Stifling a yawn, Danielle asked Sharon what the most expensive bike in the world ever was. Sharon didn’t know but promised Danielle she would find out for her. Below are the results of Sharon’s week long research into the subject.
The most expensive bike ever built was a custom made road bike made entirely of old potato peelings. It was originally the idea of Professor Tristram Bandycoot as he wanted to build an extremely cheap bike, to be built of kitchen waste, which is, after all completely free. The initial prototype, the Maris Piper Soft Spud Comp Triple, crumpled into a smelly heap after two days, so he threw the blueprint into the recycling bin and started again.
The problem, he quickly realised, was that potato peelings are soft and bikes need to be rigid. Therefore, he needed to find a way of altering their molecular composition to make them more rigid. He experimented with cooking them: first boiling, then frying and finally baking them. Although frying and baking them made them more rigid, the Professor found that the finished product would not take the weight of anybody over 5 stone and he realised he would have to try something else.
The prof has friends in high places, including the LHC (The Large Habibi Collider) in Cerne, Switzerland, and it was there that he took his next batch of peelings. Using the highest tech equipment in the world, designed to find the “god particle” that gives all potatoes their mass, the professor’s highly intelligent friends and colleagues at Cerne bombarded the potato peelings with sub-atomic particles, which caused them to fuse together into what is now the strongest and lightest material known to man – Spudmium. This material was also amazingly easy to work and the professor finally realised his dream of building the first bike made entirely of kitchen waste.
He called it the Speci Crophopper Pro Triple 2010. It has a Shimabara groupset, Aphid Shorty cantilever brakes, Mavka rims and Hopehely hubs and Daisyface drop handlebars. All its components are made of potato-peeling fibre. It is an amazingly good bike: light, yet rigid and, according to English Olympic medallist, Victoria Pentland-Javelin, it is the best ride she has ever had.
Unfortunately, Professor Bandycoot was not able to entirely fulfil his dream. The Crophopper Pro Triple 2010 is not extremely cheap, after all. The bill for bombarding the potato peelings with sub-atomic particles came to a whopping $5,010,399 or £3,255,687. The finished bicycle costs, in total, £3,256,982.02. Evidently, this is beyond the means of most leisure cyclists. However, it is rumoured that the former Chief Executive of a well known british bank has expressed an interest in buying the bike, so the professor should not need to remortgage his home, sell his car, wife, children and grandchildren to finance his great dream.
Much to Sharon’s disappointment, the only reaction she got from Danielle to this interesting tale was a loud snore.
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