|Bicycle coffee commuting: the beginning of a wonderful friendship|
This week, I installed a coffee cup holder which came with an insulated mug, which I bought a long time ago on closeout for $5 or something like that. The holder itself appears surprisingly well-made for something so inexpensive, and I've seen it in multiple different brand incarnations including "Bell". For whatever reason, and you don't usually ever learn the true reason when you purchase closeout products, this one by default is made to fit a really fat bar, bigger than any of my handlebars, so part of the reason I delayed so long to install it is that I do have a deep-seated and I think not totally irrational dislike for shims and anything similar, and conversely, a deep-seated and I think totally sound confidence combined with satisfaction when part A attaches to part B with absolute precision and zero slop. If your job entails sitting in front of a computer engineering clever, safe, and workable designs such that part A fits part B with zero slop, just know that I have an undying admiration bordering on awe for what you do. Hard disk drive hub clamp designers, I love you.
Yes, I still do have some rubber coupler shimming stock leftover, but the cut of my jib is such that forever, as long as I am using this cup holder on my commuter bicycle, I will be yearning for a perfect-fitting (and black) Portland Design Works Bar-Ista paired up with an OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug, both of which by all appearances would deliver up the precision and exactness of fit to satisfy my questing soul. At a higher cost, sure, but we're talking about something I will be staring at every day and seething about just a little. If you integrate the seething function of mechanical slop over the lifetime of the cup holder, I could probably justify the additional cost. Added on to that, the likelihood that the Arizona sun blasting down on rubber shims will no doubt cause them to crumble and fail catastrophically and suddenly, similar to carbon fiber, which in my case would most certainly result in the cup filled with scalding hot coffee somehow tumbling into the front spokes, sending me over the bars while spraying my face and arms with boiling hot liquid. AKA, catastrophic loss of coffee containment. Put it that way, the PDW+OXO combo is sounding more and more affordable. It would certainly be less than the copay at the ER.
|Yes, it mounts reflective tape perfectly|
I'm certain I would instantly land on the ER list of "interesting" accidents if I showed up and gave that story. After I shimmed and mounted the el-cheapo second degree burn Superman crash coffee cup holder (EC2DBSCCCH), I noticed it occupies a prime spot for reflectivity, while also offering a panoramic field of reflection. BAM! on went the 3M reflective tape, and POW! I now offer additional front-facing retro-reflection to any oncoming lights from a wide variety of angles. And that may be the one redeeming quality of the EC2DBSCCCH: whereas the PDW-OXO combo is both black and visibly branded and would present a dilemma about sticking white tape on (can I get some black 3M reflective tape? checking now) the EC2DBSCCCH wears the white tape proudly.
In looking at the photo, it looks like the cup component of the EC2DBSCCCH could also sport a band of reflective tape. That way, I would potentially have a reflector in my hand to wave at drivers left hooking at me at night. Also, when the EC2DBSCCCH actually does its thing and sends me over the bars while burning me, it would at least offer some retroreflectivity to cars, hey look at that guy laying in front of his bike with the coffee cup next to him, while also giving paramedics something else to home in on with their flashlights.
Go here for more, much more, on Bicycle Coffee Systems.