Experiment Results

After one field test, the investigator can definitively report that the unconventional handlebar configuration depicted in Figure I is wholly unsatisfactory with respect to the operation of a bicycle.

Figure I
Twisted Bars I

The deviation of the handlebars from the conventional orientation (in which the handlebars are at a right angle to the plane of the wheels and frame) makes steering difficult, if not impossible. Interestingly, this difficulty is encountered while attempting to walk with the bicycle, as well as – presumably – while attempting to ride it. (The investigator did not attempt to ride the thusly-configured bicycle, only to walk it approximately 500 meters.)

In addition to the difficulties inherent in operating a bicycle configured in this way, the investigator would like to comment on the unsatisfactory nature of the configuration process. To carry out this field test, the investigator “crashed” the bicycle while making a right-hand turn at a relatively low speed. Owing to ice, this turn quickly devolved into the type of crash sometimes called a “lay down.” Though the precise sequence of events cannot be recalled, the end state found the investigator lying prone on the street approximately three feet from the bicycle. After a few deranged-sounding shouts and curses, the investigator rose to discover that the crash had reconfigured the handlebars in the manner illustrated. The handlebars were later returned to the conventional orientation. The investigator injured his left thumb and his ego, which had been badly mangled in two crashes earlier in the winter.

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