Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The advantage of having a heavy plain-gauge steel bike

I discovered a neat little trick at work.

We have a rear "automatic" gate that rises when vehicles exit.
A while back a new sensor mechanism was fitted in the road.
It is a bit like the induction sensors in traffic lights (signals).

Anyway, there are two sensor area in the tarmac (asphalt) just inside the gate.
Being designed for motor vehicles, pushbikes don't cause a big enough effect to set it off.
Cyclists, when exiting, have to go round the side and lean through the railings to set off the "outside" sensor, which is "passcard" operated, rather than "automatic", then come back round again. And the spacing between the railings is not exactly generous either - so it is a bit of a delicate double-jointed affair.

Want to bet that bikes can't open that gate :-)
If I ride Mermaid sideways "along" one of the strips where one of the sensors is buried (rather than the usual "across" that motor vehicles) Mermaid had enough steel to actually trigger the mechanism to open the gate :-)

I've done it a few times just to check.
Yep, Mermaid is clearly just "enough" to open the gate!

As far as I am aware, none of the other cyclist at work can do this ...
But I am pretty sure that I am the only one that commutes on a steel bike.
I reckon steel, being magnetisable, gives a stronger "pulse" than aluminium (which is what everyone else has a bike made from).

Steel is real, as they say.
And in this case, steel, and quite a bit of it, is also rather convenient :-)

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