samuel alexander mudd lived in the middle years of the 19th century, and as owner of a tobacco farm he was also gainfully employed as a doctor in southern maryland. the instrument of his downfall was a chance meeting with john wilkes booth. the civil war had seriously damaged his business, particularly when maryland abolished slavery, in one fell swoop, removing much of the labour employed on his farm.
john booth had originally planned to kidnap president lincoln, but instead, as is well known to those with even a passing interest in american history, he assassinated the president on 14 april, 1865, subsequently riding with his co-conspirator, david herold, to samuel mudd's home the following day. mudd's involvement in the assassination plot remains unclear, for booth had visited the doctor at his home the day after shooting lincoln, allegedly for the sole purpose of surgery on his fractured leg. following this, he crossed into the state of virginia.
mudd's failure to report the visit until 24 hours later seems to be the sole circumstance connecting him to the heinous crime. there is no evidence to prove that he had previous knowledge that booth intended to kill the president. however, he was arrested on 26 april and found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder, a crime carrying a life sentence. a single vote saved him from the death penalty.
in 1869 president andrew johnston pardoned samuel mudd and released him from prison , but despite repeated attempts by family and friends, his original conviction was never overturned. this fact alone is reputedly the origination of the phrase mud(d) sticks. it's an aphorism that remains every bit as true today as it was in the 19th century.
you would think, however, that the smoothness of matt finished carbon fibre would be all but immune to the vicissitudes of gravel, mud and islay's equivalent of belgian toothpaste. it would be naive to pretend that such a carbon finish does not offer at least some defence against dark-matter, but after 110km on the hebridean version of paris roubaix, the iniquities of the roads department's seeming inabilities in the field of road repairs as well as the outpourings from several hundred cattle and sheep, as the borg would have said "resistance is futile".
though i'm sure it's a situation that manifests itself only inside my head, as one of the founding members of velo club d'ardbeg, i feel it incumbent upon my public persona to ensure that the velocipede de jour offer strength and conviction to the civilian population. thus, when one is astride a machine with the bearing of a colnago c60, not only should its passage be feverishly quick, but it ought also to be seen to do so in impeccable fashion.
in other words, i like to keep it clean.
for this very purpose, and named in typically laconic american style, pedros' green fizz is the very foaming substance designed to keep the bicycle in the manner to which its maker figured it ought to look on the shop floor. available in 500ml or one litre bottles, this green liquid is applied to the frame and its bits via a removable spray nozzle that immediately foams the green fizz as it leaves the bottle. rather disappointingly, the foam turned out to be white and not green; the latter notion was an attractive one while it lasted.
it's simplicity itself to lather the entire bike in fizzy foam, but i'd advise standing upwind while so doing if you'd prefer not to emulate frosty the snowman. because the foam uses surfactants rather than solvents, it's safe to use on all parts of the bike, including carbon, without causing any untoward damage. once the bike looks like my grandson's bubble bath, the fizz can be removed either by chucking buckets of water over the frame, or as did i, with a squirty bottle of water.
brilliantly, on rinsing off the foam, almost all of the aforementioned detritus had drained off onto the ground under the workstand. i'm tempted to say effortlessly, but i did have to persuade one or two awkward patches with a sponge. the only downside i could find was the potential economy involved. after three liberal foamings of the c60 and its tyres and wheel rims, there was only around a quarter of the contents left. perhaps when the novelty of spraying so much foam wears off, it'll last a bit longer.
but i do think the chaps at pedros ought to consider making the spraying of green fizz result in green foam.
friday 9 january 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................