The Geek Biker

Rambles of a geek that rides a bike

Monthly Archives: May 2014

What did I learn today – The Empire State Building

I don’t assume to know anything about the Empire State Building. The two bits I learnt today (2?!? Out done myself) has one thing in common. The Empire State Building is HUGE.

We all know the Empire State Building is pretty damn big right. But did you know it is so big that it requires its own zip code? That’s right.

But the next one is the one that brought this ‘Merican icon to my attention.

I learnt that the Empire State Building was designed to be a Zeppelin docking station…..WHAAA…..

The top of the Empire State Building has a 200-foot mooring mast that was meant to dock airships—then thought to be the vehicle of the future.

It ended up docking only one dirigible due to the fact that the idea was so ill-conceived, it didn’t account for how the winds coming off the building made it too dangerous to anchor an airship (let alone have people walk out on the 102nd floor). It was more of a stunt to ensure that the Empire State Building would be the world’s tallest building, but man, the idea of zeppelins hanging out in midtown is pretty great. I love this [secret] because it’s really easy to point to when you’re walking around or happen to have a good view, plus it’s pretty ridiculous to think about in the 21st century.

Dr. Hugo Eckener, the commander of the Graf Zeppelin and the world’s expert on dirigibles, said flatly that the Empire State project was not practical…The tallest building in the world opened that May; the developers acknowledged that the apparatus for winching the airships had not yet been designed. In December the Navy airship J-4 flew from Lakehurst and hovered around the tower at the request of a newsreel company. The 30-mile-an-hour winds, described as “treacherous” by The Times, made the approach difficult.




What did I learn today – Trial by Combat

Who said motorcyclists aren’t reasonable people? Especially the old school bikers.

And what better way to reason and argue a  £25 fine than trial by combat?!?

In December 2002, a 60-year-old mechanic named Leon Humphreys was fined £25 for failing to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that he had removed his Suzuki motorcycle from road usage. He refused to pay and claimed that he had the right, under medieval law, to choose a trial by combat with a “champion” nominated by the DVLA. This claim was denied by a court of magistrates in Bury St Edmunds, and he was further fined.[18]

I say let them throw down the gauntlet (or motorcycle glove) and allow for a champion of justice to go face to face with a champion of defense. That is if the defender can’t fend for himself that is.


Disclaimer : the old guy in the photo is not Leon Humphreys. That’s all.

Custom Bike Builder Website Concept

Sometimes I wonder why I studied Engineering and not something useful like website design and building. It would have made little things like creating an awesome Custom Bike Builder website a lot easier. Now I’m stuck with all these ideas but fail to execute.

The concept:

A Custom Bike Builder website/mobile app that allows the user to mock-up their vision.


The Scenario(s):

1. You look at your bike and think, what would I do if I could redo it all? Tear it down and rebuild to my heart’s desire.

2. You made an impulse purchase of an SR400 frame and start wondering how you can make this beast look good!


The Idea:

The image below shows the main idea behind what an app/website would look like on an iPad. A simple interface for big man hands to drag and drop the parts to the rotatable display area.

You add a frame of your choice from the selection to the right, then start adding the other bits like an engine, wheels, exhausts etc. Maybe even add some ‘anchor points’ to a frame which should allow the user to stretch out some bits like the suspension, seat area, swing arm etc.

This virtual ideal bike does not have to be real, it does not need to run, it just needs to fulfill the user’s vision of what a build could look like. How about adding a Kitana engine to a monkey or posty bike? Or add Harley wheels to Kawa?

Here it is (click on image to see it in all it’s drawn glory)


Needless to say the app would have some proper 3D graphics and not pencil drawings as you see here. Below is another image with some description bits to confuse you even more explain what all the bits are for.

For example the wheel in the air is an action shot of a part being dragged and dropped in the right place. Granted that it should fail because you probably need forks to act as anchor points before you can connect a wheel up.


Lastly I have to give credit to a site that gave me the idea.

It has some nice features like select from a wide variety, but it is an old school 2D website. And there is no ability to drop suspension, stretch or shorten frame. What about rotating parts I.e rotate the muffler upwards or straighten it out?

But a good start none the less.



Internet comments – To read or not to read

I have to start by saying that I’ve stopped reading comments on articles, blogs and in general. I found that most comments are negative, trolling and not funny or informative at all. But sometimes you come across a simple comment or reply that might be a single liner that is just gold.

I came across a link from Derren Brown’s Facebook page.

And I remembered that he explained the problem in one of his books I read 


So I followed the link and as the very smart lady started explaining the problem…

My goldfish-like attention span started to wonder and I started scrolling down to the comment sections.


I thought I’d explain the comments that made made me chuckle, but then again, I can just leave it here.



if you still don’t get it, I recommend you watch the movie Se7en.



Now this post was not that informative, I have to agree, but as I find more of these gold bits, I might just add them. Then again, as mentioned, I don’t really read comments so tend not to notice the best ones.

A bit of an overhaul

I good site needs a good look. Mine just needs to look OK.

So I quickly sketched up the header and changed the menus a bit. Also added a link to the Wordans site which I should really update.

Here is a pic I sketched for the header.

Concept sketch