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Nobel laureate: Buy a bike.

Old 10-16-19, 12:38 PM
  #1  
pdlamb
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Nobel laureate: Buy a bike.

I was listening to an interview this morning with Didier Queloz, one of this year's Nobel Prize winners in Physics. The interviewer noted he had won a lot of money and asked if there was anything the new laureate would buy. Quoting from memory: "I had a problem with my bike this morning. Maybe I'll buy a new bike."

Response 1. Shades of Einstein, perhaps? "I thought of that while riding my bicycle."

Response 2. I may not have won a Nobel this year, but maybe I'll buy a new bike too.
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Old 10-16-19, 12:42 PM
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Wonder if he'll go with rim or disc brakes. Being as smart as he is he will certainly avoid crabon fibre because of its tendency to asplode. Guy of his caliber is likely to play it smart and go the custom ti route.
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Old 10-16-19, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
... Guy of his caliber is likely to play it smart and go the custom ti route.
With air-free tires, because flats are the scourge of cyclists?
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Old 10-16-19, 05:51 PM
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He could buy an old Motobecane Nobly.
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Old 10-16-19, 05:59 PM
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He's been biking to his lab for 30 years. His University asked him what he would like from them. His reply was, "A place to park my bike."
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Old 10-16-19, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
With air-free tires, because flats are the scourge of cyclists?
I get two flats every time I ride, and patches are worthless.
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Old 10-16-19, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
He's been biking to his lab for 30 years. His University asked him what he would like from them. His reply was, "A place to park my bike."
See, this guy is on the right track. He's gonna go places I'm sure of it.
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Old 10-16-19, 07:54 PM
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Of course you buy a new bike! What else do you do with any kind of prize money?

Last edited by Bassmanbob; 10-17-19 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:20 PM
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Buying a new bike for him (and he deserves a bespoke ride for his Nobel laureate status) is only natural. Cycling to the lab for the commute, encourages thinking of the highest, and problem solving. It's good for the intellect.
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Old 10-16-19, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
Of course you buy a new bike! What else do you do with any kind of prise money?
Buy more wheels for bikes you already have?
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Old 10-16-19, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by notgr View Post
Buy more wheels for bikes you already have?
Sure, but shouldn't you get another bike to store them on?
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Old 10-16-19, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I was listening to an interview this morning with Didier Queloz, one of this year's Nobel Prize winners in Physics. The interviewer noted he had won a lot of money and asked if there was anything the new laureate would buy. Quoting from memory: "I had a problem with my bike this morning. Maybe I'll buy a new bike."

I suspect this might be one of those Cambridge inside jokes.

When Aaron Klug (also a physicist, based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge) was awarded the Chemistry Nobel Prize in 1982, he was asked a similar question, and in response replied "I have been riding the same bicycle for the last twenty years, so I think I will get a new one."

I think Queloz might have been riffing on that.

When I went to work with him 11 years later, he was still riding that bike to work every day, rain or shine, even though by then he was in his late 60s and he was head of the institute and the president of the Royal Society (he did take the train to London for that). It was one of those Raleighs with a 3-speed internal hub, Brooks saddle with springs, and one of those huge wicker baskets in the front. Everyone in Cambridge had to park their bikes outside, which I wasn't very happy about. I had brought my Trek 520 with me, and he thought it was hugely extravagent and predicted it would be a target for theft. (Fortunately that didn't happen, although once someone swiped the quick release levers, I presume thinking I would leave it there overnight.)

It was only after I had worked with him for a couple of years that I first heard about this quote, so being a bike geek, I had to ask him if it was true. The bike it replaced was one he had gotten with funds inherited from Rosalind Franklin, whom he had worked with closely at the start of his career.

He passed away about a year ago.
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Old 10-16-19, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I suspect this might be one of those Cambridge inside jokes.

When Aaron Klug (also a physicist, based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge) was awarded the Chemistry Nobel Prize in 1982, he was asked a similar question, and in response replied "I have been riding the same bicycle for the last twenty years, so I think I will get a new one."

I think Queloz might have been riffing on that.

When I went to work with him 11 years later, he was still riding that bike to work every day, rain or shine, even though by then he was in his late 60s and he was head of the institute and the president of the Royal Society (he did take the train to London for that). It was one of those Raleighs with a 3-speed internal hub, Brooks saddle with springs, and one of those huge wicker baskets in the front. Everyone in Cambridge had to park their bikes outside, which I wasn't very happy about. I had brought my Trek 520 with me, and he thought it was hugely extravagent and predicted it would be a target for theft. (Fortunately that didn't happen, although once someone swiped the quick release levers, I presume thinking I would leave it there overnight.)

It was only after I had worked with him for a couple of years that I first heard about this quote, so being a bike geek, I had to ask him if it was true. The bike it replaced was one he had gotten with funds inherited from Rosalind Franklin, whom he had worked with closely at the start of his career.

He passed away about a year ago.
Great story. Do you own an old 3 speed? That is a classy bike to take to work.
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Old 10-16-19, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Sure, but shouldn't you get another bike to store them on?
Good point. But that bike will come with its own wheels, so it's probably best to pick up a frameset to keep those on, too.
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Old 10-16-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
He's been biking to his lab for 30 years. His University asked him what he would like from them. His reply was, "A place to park my bike."
Maybe he could park it on an exoplanet.
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Old 10-17-19, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by notgr View Post
Buy more wheels for bikes you already have?
Nah! With that kind of prize money, you can buy the whole bike!
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Old 10-17-19, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
With air-free tires, because flats are the scourge of cyclists?

Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I get two flats every time I ride, and patches are worthless.
"He revealed that his day had started badly, with punctured bicycle tyre...."

-mr. bill
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Old 10-17-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
...avoid crabon fibre because of its tendency to asplode.
Snob.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:21 AM
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So, I think people are saying here, if I ride my bike enough, I might win a Nobel Prize...
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Old 10-17-19, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I suspect this might be one of those Cambridge inside jokes.

When Aaron Klug (also a physicist, based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge) was awarded the Chemistry Nobel Prize in 1982, he was asked a similar question, and in response replied "I have been riding the same bicycle for the last twenty years, so I think I will get a new one."

I think Queloz might have been riffing on that.

When I went to work with him 11 years later, he was still riding that bike to work every day, rain or shine, even though by then he was in his late 60s and he was head of the institute and the president of the Royal Society (he did take the train to London for that). It was one of those Raleighs with a 3-speed internal hub, Brooks saddle with springs, and one of those huge wicker baskets in the front. Everyone in Cambridge had to park their bikes outside, which I wasn't very happy about. I had brought my Trek 520 with me, and he thought it was hugely extravagent and predicted it would be a target for theft. (Fortunately that didn't happen, although once someone swiped the quick release levers, I presume thinking I would leave it there overnight.)

It was only after I had worked with him for a couple of years that I first heard about this quote, so being a bike geek, I had to ask him if it was true. The bike it replaced was one he had gotten with funds inherited from Rosalind Franklin, whom he had worked with closely at the start of his career.

He passed away about a year ago.
I know this isn't the point of your really touching story, but somewhere in my brain is a part that recognizes only Raleigh 3 speeds as "real" bikes. I haven't ridden one in 30 years but what a great, loveable machine.
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Old 10-17-19, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
So, I think people are saying here, if I ride my bike enough, I might win a Nobel Prize...
On a MUP, I always announce my passes verbally. Can I win a No-Bell Prize?
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Old 10-17-19, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
So, I think people are saying here, if I ride my bike enough, I might win a Nobel Prize...
YES I think so!
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Old 10-17-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by deephate View Post
YES I think so!
Thanks!
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Old 10-17-19, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
On a MUP, I always announce my passes verbally. Can I win a No-Bell Prize?
You certainly are a wise-guy!
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Old 10-18-19, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
He's been biking to his lab for 30 years. His University asked him what he would like from them. His reply was, "A place to park my bike."

This is Ben Feringa, he got the Nobel prize for chemistry 3 years ago. Not that he didn't have a place to park his bike before, but giving him his own car parking space was pointless.
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