Vincent Cheung

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sports tape is the new duct tape: Engineering design at its best


Engineering design
The best possible solution within the available resources

-- First year Intro to Engineering, U of M, 1999

Usually I get stares when rollerblading, especially in winter. I get even more stares rollerblading in snowpants with a snowboard strapped across my back while also carrying a duffle bag with my boots, etc.

Snowboarding was great today. I hopped onto the Saturday bus b/c they have space. In many ways, Saturday is so much better than Friday:
  • get your own seat on the bus

  • a lot less noise (i.e. no Marsha)

  • people are considerate of others and are punctual

  • good company

  • bus driver drives fast (we even passed cars!)

  • we don't make a pee stop for a 2 hour drive

  • we get dropped off and picked up right at the lodge so we don't have to walk

  • not having to rush b/c I'm meeting with Brendan right before and have to stop the meeting so I can make it onto the bus

Did pretty much every run that night skiing offered, except the double blacks. Erik was there again. This time I was also joined by John, Ian, and Winnie (the VP). I managed to convince John to try snow blades, thinking that that would slow him down for us, but it didn't really.

I came home and saw that one of the screws on my rollerblade had fallen off and my wheel was like mm's from falling off! This has never happened before. Screws have never been loose on my rollerblades. I checked the rest and they were all tight. The missing screw was nowhere to be seen.

Seeking a temporary solution, I remembered that I had a replacement brake in preparation for replacing my worn out one. I took the screw from there and surprisingly it fit, though it was too long and the axis would then be able to partially pop out, which would be bad.

So, I tied some string between the screw and the aluminium base to prevent the screw from being pushed in. Reinforced the ends of the string with sports tape and taped the other side so the axis wouldn't pop out.

If you look at the bottom of the left image, you can also see that I've used sports tape to reinforce my laces. They were fraying from being repeatedly pulled against the lace loops and was about to break. I've been using the tape reinforced laces for a few weeks now and they're working great. Rollerblades aren't quite in season and I haven't been able to find laces in stores. I'm going to need a new screw soon though...

Sports tape is the new duct tape. It looks better, is more flexible, sticks great, and doesn't leave as much crap behind when you peel it off.


Anonymous said...

Is sports tape a brand of tape, or a nickname for it? I haven't heard of it before, but definitely want to check it out.

Vince said...

It's also known as athletic tape. You should be able to find it in any sports store. It's quite multipurpose and used in numerous sports. I have it to tape fingers for volleyball or if I have a band-aid on my finger, then I put tape over the band-aid so that it doesn't fall off. Band-aids will fall off a sweaty finger, but sports tape sticks like a charm.

Anonymous said...

is it the same as hockey tape? like the tape you sometimes put over your hockey stick...

Vince said...

It's similiar. They are both cloth like, but I believe that the adhesive is slightly different (hockey tape not as friendly on say, skin) and I think the fibres on sports tape is more tightly woven, but it also depends on the quality.

Anonymous said...

so on wednesdays i need to go to bannatyne, i usually use the 30 mins trip for a quick nap. most ppl sleep on the bus actually. today there were three yattering women right beside me. i couldnt switch seats b/c the bus was full, some ppl had to stand. the three managed to give me a really bad headache. why do you need to talk so damn loud when you're within reaching distance of one another? some ppl like she that cannot be named need to talk quieter on buses so others can sleep!

Vince said...

OMG, I totally identify with that. You know what I did last Friday on the bus? First thing I did was see where she was sitting, which was at the back this time, and I sat right at the front. Took no chances. Though she's very much audible even at that distance.

Much better though when she's on the bus before me, that way I get to maximize the distance between us. Otherwise, I would have to give up my job as a professional student and move to a concrete room with bars blocking my window view.

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