RUMBLINGS, November 1927
Oti00 EXHAUT Mrr,’S
MUCH ink has been spilt on the subject of driving
in fog, and, of what is worse driving in fog at night.
Many inventions have been produced to render this horror a little less dreadful, but it would seem that the only real remedy is to banish the fog. Perhaps our scientists will cease snarling about Darwin and do something useful. Spot lights are almost indispensable in fog, but they are illegal. Rather a jar, but there it is. Of course one can
The best thing appears to be the use of diffused light, and in this matter electric head lamps bow before the primitive acetylene of the motorcyclist. But something can be done with one’s head lights by fitting caps and similar devices. There are some excellent rubber affairs on the market for this purpose, especially an amber rubber one with a guaranteed range of twenty yards in thickest fog on darkest night.
Do motor cycle designers travel by first-class and thousand pound saloons ? It certainly seems impossible that they ever ride their own productions. Perhaps if they did, and had burnt their fair fingers replacing plugs, struggled on a wet night with a rear wheel puncture, or pulled their arms out hauling a 600 c.c. sports motor into its stand, if they had done these things, I say, some improvements in such items might come to pass.
What would be said if a car appeared at Olympia without head or tail lamps, these to be fitted on tmvveildy brackets at extra charge ? And yet this is accepted practice among motor cycle manufacturers. Loud cries of ” Shame.”
The female of the species is more deadly than the male. Yea, and has more nerve at times. Witness the following, which, for sheer nerve complete with ultrariding ability really wins the silver hot-water bottle.
A narrow sandy lane, descending steeply a hill, with a right angled corner at the foot. A roar at the hill-top. A cloud of dust and one perfectly healthy exhaust note, complete with one perfectly dazzling girl in scarlet beret and lip stick. Facilis descensus . . . down she roars.
She approached the corner, at which moment, a sports car came roaring uphill. I got up the bank. The two vehicles met. My lady had her wheels locked, skidded across the bonnet of the car, missed it by three inches, charged up the bank, leapt a gulley, rocketed over a heap of stones, crashed down into the road, yanked open the throttle and disappeared at speed. Whew—yes, the silver mounted hot water bottle please— thank you.
. It is rather interesting to examine figures with regard to most things, statistics and all that.
The crankshaft of a racing car turning 130 times per second at 8,000 r.p.m., makes one think, and the magneto of an eight cylinder engine at 100 m.p.h., giving off sparks at the rate of 32,000 sparks per minute passes understanding.
At slower speeds, and touching motor cycles, it is interesting to look at some figures regarding the sidevalve Ariel which recently completed 5,000 non-stop miles under observation. This engine ran for 251 hours, and the engine revolutions approximately forty million. Twenty million explosions occurred, and the piston travelled about four thousand miles, eighty million reversals of direction having taken place !
I am not myself a believer in the occult, except when the occult takes the shape of a spark high up inside the insulator of my plug, or a spot of grit in the jet, but the following excerpt from a psychic journal may interest some.
” Famous people come to my flat on all sorts of occasions and for all sorts of reasons. The other day there came Major Segrave, who travelled in a motorcar in Florida last winter at 207 miles an hour. He came to tell me that when he sailed for America last winter he got a wireless message signed Thompson, warning him to change his chain. To his wireless questions there came no answer. ‘When a motor has been made for you,’ he said, ‘ by the best engineers in Great Britain, all of whom want you to win back the speed championship of the world, you do not like to change anything. But I was so obsessed with this warning that I changed the chain, and did 207 miles an hour. “Why did you send me that wireless,” I asked Thompson afterwards on returning to London, “and then give no replies to my question.” ” I could not reply to your wireless messages,” he said, “because I knew you would not do it for the reason that I should give. I have been going into Spiritualism, and when I consulted a medium a few days before you sailed, Parry Thomas came through and told me to warn you about the chain. I knew if I told you that you would only laugh.”‘ Segrave tells me that he brought back the chain from America, and thereupon it was tested, because Thompson told him the medium said the chain would break at 170 miles an hour. When it was tested it did break at 174 miles an hour.”
I shall consult an oracle or something before the Private Owners Car T.T. next .year.