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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I don't know why one of my pole baskets decided to freeze into an iceball this morning. It made it wicked hard to get a decent pole plant until I stopped and shattered it by smashing it repeatedly against a sign post. Silly pole baskets. And why only one? And how did the snow start sticking in the first place? And how was there enough of a melting/freezing cycle for it to freeze into an ice blob?


Anonymous No so dumb guy said...

I’m not sure if this was your case, but: when plastics such as ski pole baskets and ski boot soles are manufactured the heat from the mold seals the pores of the plastic. No pores, no place for water droplets to stick and freeze. If you scratch up ski pole baskets or boot soles – the scratches have minute “hairs” that have small electrical charges. This charge allows water droplets to stick around on the hairs and then, if it is cold enough, the water droplet freezes. The initial frozen water droplets make condensation nuclei for more water molecules to clump and freeze. So soon, scratches in your plastic have become “ice magnets”, and ice clumping occurs. That one of your baskets froze and the other didn’t – that might imply that you have hit more sharp rocks with the basket that iced up, so it has more minute scratches. I hope you aren’t hitting race poles against the sign. Composite fibers can handle extreme tensions, but impacts with cause the complex molecular structures to fatigue. When it comes to race time - only use new poles and boots, with no scratches!

October 25, 2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger LAV said...

brilliant! thanks, I need to keep you around to answer all the other things in life I'm curious about too!

and, um, I mostly only banged the basket part of my pole against the signpost. I did manage to knock the ice off without breaking the pole so it all turned out well in the end.

October 25, 2007 6:34 PM  
Anonymous not so dumb guy said...

No problem. If you need speak from a geek, I’m here. FWIW: If I had ice on the baskets of my race poles before a big race, I’d take the poles off, hold them near the basket and tap them together, or onto something. The less the lever-arm (length between your hand and basket), the less force the whacking is going to have on your poles. You don’t want your poles snapping when you are putting the hurt on and making the girls you are racing snap! ;-)

October 25, 2007 11:05 PM  

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