One of the brats (what I call my grandsons) informs me that he intends to mount low profile tires on his old Jeep. Having been there and done that, I told him that he was nuts to try to be COOL by mounting tires that would be more suitable mounted on a farm wagon. He retorted that I was the one uninformed and there is a definite improvement in car handling by mounting low profile tires.
Of course he said that I was just an old coot and did not know what I was talking about. Simply stated, low profile tires are tires with narrow sidewalls allowing the rims to be closer to the road since there is less sidewall height. Knowing that I was correct and that the brat did not know what he was talking about, I did some checking. And you know what? He is right about improved handling. The concept was developed from race tires as the narrow sidewalls allowed less tire flexing on the turns. However, the rider gives up a lot of comfort because the low profile tires reduce the cushioning effect as there is 40% less air in the tire. Also, the low profile tires cost about 20% more than standard profile tires. Now, there is a trend by some to be SUPER COOL by installing rims that allow super low profiles tires to be mounted. These tires have a small amount of air and are dangerous not to mention having almost no cushioning effect for riders inside the vehicle.
It is thought by some (I have a close daughter in this category) that it is COOL to have a collection of stickers and placards pasted on the rear window of your vehicle. They range from political viewpoints to advertising to just plain venting. The more organizations that you participate in or promote with their logos posted on your rear view window, then the COOLER you are. I always assumed that rear windows were to be free of stickers that partially block your vision. Now if you really want to be COOL, put a sticker stating that you have donated to the local police charity. It always amazes me that one can look through melted sand (glass) without almost no lack of vision distortion.
Now if you want to be a COOL rancher or farmer, you have got to have one those cattle guards mounted on your front bumper. These livestock bumpers cost up to $500 and add a lot of weight to your vehicle. The law of physics states that the greater the weight of the vehicle, the higher the gas consumption per mile. Most noticeable is that a high percentage of the police cars have grill guards installed. I guess they need them to avoid the deer that are roaming the streets of downtown. Most insurance policies cover damage sustained from hitting an animal with your vehicle so from an economical viewpoint, animal grill guards are not necessary. That is especially true for the more elaborate ones that go all the way across the front of your vehicle.
It is true that I should be minding my own business rather than commenting on another person’s preferences. I am trying to figure out a way to be COOL, but I think it is too late. The only thing that saves me from being totally UNCOOL is my girl’s bicycle that I ride daily. It is bright orange with 3 speeds, hand brakes, head lights, tail lights and a leather seat.
The bicycle reminds me of an incident that happened on Lanier Avenue in Lanett a week ago. Since the bike has considerable wear on the chain such that if you hit a hard bump, the chain comes off of the sprocket. As I was bending over the bike in front of Dimwit Fitts’ Cleaners trying to get the chain back on, one of the Lanett Police Officers pulled up and got out to assist me. I told him that I could handle it but he insisted that I allow him to help. Thank goodness that he refused to abandon me! He held the bike up while I managed to get the chain back on without pinching my fingers. It is incidents like this that make our police force something special. In fact it made such an impact on me that I made it my mission to go by and express my appreciation of this officer to Chief Angie Spates.