October 18th, 2008
I've had a crazy idea for quite a while, to get net connectivity to my mom's ranch up in the mountains by repeating 802.11(b/g) all the way up and over Rabbit Mountain. The big stumbling block with all my schemes has not been finding the radio hardware ( 1) Buy cheap D-Link router. 2) Set in repeater mode. 3) ... 4) PROFIT!! ) nor signal strength issues (I'm good enough with antennas to handle that) but rather supplying power to the equipment.
For a while I thought about some kinda two car battery plus solar panel setup, but I'm really not that keen on trekking up the steep sides of Rabbit mountain with two car batteries on my back - and then doing it AGAIN when (not if) the battery wears out. Also, solar panels are hella expensive.
( Collapse )
Then there is the steering. The steering wheel comes in the shape of what can only be described as handlebars, but if you turn them — even slightly — while riding along, you will fall off and be killed. What you have to do is lean into the corner, fix your gaze on the course you wish to follow, and then you will fall off and be killed.
As far as the minor controls are concerned, well... you get a horn and lights and indicators, all of which are operated by various switches and buttons on the steering wheel, but if you look down to see which one does what, a truck will hit you and you will be killed. Oh, and for some extraordinary reason, the indicators do not self-cancel, which means you will drive with one of them on permanently, which will lead following traffic to think you are turning right. It will then undertake just as you turn left, and you will be killed.
What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, bikes and cars are both forms of transport, but they have nothing in common. Imagining that you can ride a bike because you can drive a car is like imagining you can swallow-dive off a 90ft cliff because you can play table tennis.
However, many people are making the switch because they imagine that having a small motorcycle will be cheap. It isn’t. Sure, the 125cc Vespa I tried can be bought for £3,499, but then you will need a helmet (£300), a jacket (£500), some Freddie Mercury trousers (£100), shoes (£130), a pair of Kevlar gloves (£90), a coffin (£1,000), a headstone (£750), a cremation (£380) and flowers in the church (£200).
In other words, your small 125cc motorcycle, which has no boot, no electric windows, no stereo and no bloody heater even, will end up costing more than a Volkswagen Golf. That said, a bike is much cheaper to run than a car. In fact, it takes only half a litre of fuel to get from your house to the scene of your first fatal accident. Which means that the lifetime cost of running your new bike is just 50p.
$6000 for a scooter? Dear Britian: UR DOIN' IT RONG.