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What each of these models is trying to get around is the drag that rider and bicycle create. Because neither is streamlined, they force air molecules to curve sharply around them in front and they pull swirling, thrashing cyclones of air along in back. Jack Lambie, a consultant to a California firm that is experimenting with truck shapes, estimates that on a 100-mile ride the average bicyclist pushes aside almost 10 tons of air. Any rider able to maintain 30 mph for the distance—the best achieve that rate only in spurts—would expend 92% of his energy moving molecules. Lambie has designed a shell to cover bike and rider that reaches to within six inches of the ground, reduces drag by 27% and has been tested at 35 mph.
Chester Kyle, a professor of mechanical engineering, has his Teledyne Titan. It too is fitted with a shell, aluminum, that encloses man and machine. Test ridden in a hallway a furlong long, it achieved a reduction of 60% drag. Rider Ron Skarin has reached over 40 mph on the Titan. Kyle, Lambie and several others will get together this spring for a race that most likely will qualify for some sort of world record. Eventually, Lambie predicts, somebody will do 100 on a bike. With a patrol car right behind, no doubt.
TIME FOR REFORM
Legal maneuvering on both sides has postponed for a while, perhaps indefinitely, the showdown between Frank (Pancho) Martin and New York State Racing Association stewards. The leading trainer in the state, Martin had been suspended for 60 days on charges that he ran two horses whose postrace tests came back positive.
The case has its disturbing aspects. For one, the stewards appeared to be picking on Martin, a wheeler-dealer from Cuba who claims a lot of horses, some of them owned by friends of the Establishment that controls New York racing. Last summer two old friends of the powers that be, Allen Jerkens and Tommy Root, ran horses that came back positive, too, but rather than ban the two trainers the stewards called in the FBI and a frantic search was undertaken in the stable area at Belmont to nail mysterious outsiders who were shooting up the horses. None was found.
The fact is, everybody in racing knows that it is impossible to keep horses in training over today's long seasons without using all kinds of medicine to alleviate bleeding, soreness, inflammation and various other infirmities to which racehorses are prone. But the very word "drug" has an offensive ring. So the tracks go on testing for medications that generally have no effect on a horse's speed, and trainers have a Damocles' sword hanging over their heads. They have to use medicines to stay in business, the medicines have to be out of the horses' systems by post time and nobody can say how long that will take, each horse's metabolism being different.
Justice should be evenhanded, and it can be only if there are uniform rules and standards, for both men and drugs. Martin may not be loved, but he has a just claim in the game.
WHAT'S IN THE NAME? NOTHING
Ugly doings among the lily pads. The bass are all right. They just go about their business, stealing lures and wrapping lines around sunken logs and old Franklin stoves. It's the fishermen. Nobody but nobody is trusting anyone these days.