Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ten Uses for Steel Trench Plates for Cyclists

Oh god I hate those things

Always trying to look on the positive side of things, I tried to come up with ten useful things that cyclists can do with these steel trench cover plates. Basically, so I don't dwell on the time I crashed hard on some in the rain due to them becoming slick as ice when wet, or obsess about what it feels like to lose control on them with skinny tires.

Number One (are you kidding me with these things??)

1. Bottle opener (preferred to skin ripper upper)

2. Rim de-taco-ification. If your rim becomes taco'd, unlikely on a bike commute, granted, but maybe you commute on your mountain bike and it has some latent tacoing from your last downhill bombing run, remove taco'd wheel, probably have to take the tire off, and bang on steel plate until it snaps sort of back into shape, or, until you destroy it completely.

3. Stopping technique practice area. If you can stop smoothly on a steel trench plate, without skidding or losing control, you can stop on anything.

4. Frame trueness checker. These plates look pretty flat. Bring your frame here, use the plate as a reference to check it . Somehow.

5. Carbon fiber fatigue test. Bring your carbon fiber frame here, and test its toughness by banging it on the plate using full overhead swings until it, or the plate, breaks.

6.  Make worse-than-fingernails-on-chalkboard sounds by removing the tires from your wheels, riding up onto these on your rims, and hitting the brakes. See number 3.

7. Drop watermelons on them from various heights.

8. Practice your frame welding technique by sneaking out here at night, and welding a partial frame onto the steel plates to create the appearance of a bicycle embedded into them, with the handlebars partially sticking out.

9. Hire one of those 3D illusion painters to come out at night and paint them so that they look like either a) pavement or b) holes, then watch the constructors' confusion as they try to return to complete their work the next day.

10. Are you like me? Do you think "plasma cutter" whenever you see nice flat expanses of steel plate like this?

Ah, much better.


  1. I like number 8. It could be art!

  2. Xtreme sport.
    Them plates in the rain I mean.

    Maybe you can melt em down and turn them into True Temper.

  3. Y'know what they REALLY should do with 'em: Once they're done with the trench, they should put 'em up on four poles for shade for the bicyclists in the bike path!


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