Saturday, July 15, 2006


The tread of a bicycle's tire looks so reassuring when viewed close-up. It's beefy and chunky, and it's difficult to imagine it losing its grip on the ground below.

Which is a good thing. Because the couple of square inches of rubber that connect a cyclist to the road are the difference between a smooth ride and disaster. I rely on my tires - and the rest of my machine, of course - to get me home safely so that my kids can come tumbling out of the house to play with my bike's bell and use the water bottles to water the flowers in the garden.

To the uninitiated, it's just a tire. To everyone else, it's so much more.

Your turn: Can you think of any other otherwise-simple products that mean more to us than is immediately apparent? Why is this so?


verniciousknids said...

Hmmm...great question Carmi! How about a pen...a remarkable piece of engineering that achieves so much. You can write a treasured note to a loved one, keep detailed records for posterity, learn new information, plan your shopping list etc...

Michele sent me today.

Anonymous said...

A simple pencil. It can be used to write a masterpiece, or if you have long hair, you can use it hold it in place. You can even conduct an orchestra with it!

Speaking of bikes, that reminds me that I need to pump up my tires. I have a real Pee Wee Herman bike. I'll have to post a picture of it. It's pretty goofy lookng, but here in the city, I really don't worry about it geting ripped off! Who would want it?

~A~ said...

Hmmmmmm, how about a hair band aka ponytail holder. With three girls in the house those little things are treasured items because they're always getting lost.

Diane said...

It's why I have always loved Michelin's slogan so, so much, "Because so much is riding on your tires." I feel the same way about my auto's tires. I take them for granted, but I rely so much on that thin strip of rubber hitting the road (filled with air, no doubt!).

rashbre said...

Somewhat worryingly, I have been studying bicycle tread patterns recently. My MTB has some half decent trail tyres on it at the moment, but they are not so suited to road use because they have a fairly high rolling resistance.

So I've been looking at the treads to find some road sensible treads (with a central ridge) - just for the dry summer days - you know!

The bicycle is a great machine and has zillions of photo opportunities.

And here today via Michele's!


Anonymous said...

I've been known to say that a pen is like the invention of the wheel to me.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
So many things to choose from.
Ice scrapers to get ice off windshields.
Rubber soled shoes especially for the elderly to whom this might make a difference between safety and a slip and bad fall.

srp said...

Here from Michele this time.
I don't really know anything about plumbing or how simple a toilet is, but I do know that this one time novelty is now of upmost importance. The flush toilet is truly a great invention.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
Hey Carmi, wasn't there a big pile of GREEN stuff posted on your blog last weekend? You were asking us to guess what they were and said you would post an answer later. OK, it's later. I went back through them and didn't find said post. What were those things?

Jennifer said...

you have awesome posts and questions.. i envy you!

i dont really have an answer for you tonight... just in awe that you have so many good things to write about... maybe that IS my answer... your brain... my brain... all our brains... the brain in general... so much more powerful than we will ever know!

Anonymous said...

hmmm...good question! My dog's most, it's just a simple leash, to me, it's something that keep s my dog safe!

Hi, Michele sent me :-)

Sandy said...

You've remind, Carmi, why I so very much wish to get myself to the bike shop and buy myself a bike. I've had excuse upon excuse not to lay out the cash, but lately, I'm thinking the time might be near.