Monday, 10 February 2014

Pipe down

Smoking in cars is one thing, smoking on a motorcycle quite another. Ninety years ago Motor Sport, or the Brooklands Gazette as it was known, was advertising the OHV (for overhead valve) pipe featuring a device on top of the bowl to prevent the tobacco being fanned red-hot by the slipstream. I gave up smoking my pipe in my MGA not only because the wind raised sparks that caught in my hair, which I had then, but when it dawned on me that if I had an accident my pipe would probably be stuffed down my throat.
Motorcyclists, it seems, had no such worries. I guess they hoped that in an accident rider and pipe would expect, as they said then, to be “thrown clear”.
The Only Pipe for Motor-Cyclists – Gives a cool even smoke at high speeds – in high wind, and in rain. No sparks to fly out. Revolving and removeable top of aluminium, easily adjustable to direction of wind. Owing to the Briar being matured by special process, and also to the scientific adjustment of bore, this pipe can be smoked when new without harshness. Free draught. Exceptionally light. No clogging. Best finish throughout. English made. Hallmarked silver band. Equal in every respect to many pipes sold at 21/-. Refuse imitations. Money back if not satisfied. At 5/6 (27.5p) I hope J Singleton of Suffolk St, Birmingham sold lots.

Banning smoking in cars sounds like one of those laws you shouldn’t need. Common sense says it’s not good. Bad enough imposing smoke on children or passengers but it’s also bad for car control. Fag ash, red hot or not, flying about a car is distracting and so is holding a cigarette at the wheel. Some things, alas, are beyond the scope of a law.

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