Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Story Of The 100 Mile An Hour Hurricane Tape

Tape fit for a Hurricane, or 100 Miles an Hour or so.

Ok, if you must, how about 162kph?

What...Ever!  How fast is that measured in Bananas?  Giraffes?  Tardigrades?


Once upon a time I worked at a university.  Mind you working at a Uni can be great but in this case I had a boss who would tell stories about gambling at the casinos in Atlantic City and dreamed about taking a trip to Las Vegas.

At that point he'd go off on an hour long tangent and I'd fall asleep in the chair.

Not that he lasted there as my boss all that long, they shuffled him off to the side and installed a crony, a friend, who was just as inept at management as my old boss was.

At least my old boss was a nice guy, this one... wow!  Listen out there in Blog-Land if you ever end up with a person trying to manage you who was a coach in a martial arts dojo, do your career a favor and quit.  I did, and frankly I know of others in that same department who did and are happier that they put that incompetent behind them.

But about a year before I left there, I took all my banked vacation time and had a long vacation.  With holidays, weekends, and so forth I was away for a month at the quiet time of year. 

Felt great, less filling.

So less filling that as I traveled South I got hungry in Northern Virginia.  There's a barbecue joint there on US1 just off the interstate.  The food was OK, and they have another joint about two miles North of me...

Ok, 3KM.  Damn! Metric People! chill!

And we pulled into the parking lot.  Had a meal in the converted fast food place.  The parking lot was chock full of locals who worked in the area out of their trucks.  Plumbers and Electricians if I misremember right.

As I am getting ready to mount my Jeep and head on South for my month away from incompetent managers in IT in a largish university in North Philadelphia (narrows things down huh?), someone started backing up out of a parking space.

He hit the gas and rumbled on around the back. 

As he moved, his truck dropped a roll of tape.  I looked at it and it was very "military" looking.  Being Northern Virginia, well there's a lot of current and former military people there and while a bit conservative for my tastes, they'll help you out in a fix.

That tape... It turned out to be legendary.  Had a "MilSpec" rating on its inside, and was low gloss Olive Drab.  I don't know if the guy got it from a PX but I was happy to find it.  Tossed it behind my seat in the Jeep and continued on my way.

After researching the roll it turned out to be truly Military Issue, so I put the stuff to use.

This was in winter of 2005.  I still own items made and repaired out of that tape.  I only tossed it in the trash this year when I got very close to the end of the roll and finally it began to "de-laminate".

Why is it so good?  Not because it has Uncle Sam's signature of approval, but more because it wasn't some of the usual garbage imported and manufactured to a low WalStarMart or other BigBox Store standard.

This stuff was nicknamed 100 MPH tape or Hurricane Tape.  The story told to me was that it is actually used to patch helicopter blades in an emergency and is so strong that it holds things together in flight. 

Yeah Hurricane Wind Speeds.  I'm in Florida, that is important.

I am also an endurance athlete.  Even at my *ahem* Middle Age, for me to mount my inline skates and roll for a marathon workout at 27 miles roughly (40Km sheesh) in a couple-of-hours is a normal thing.   

I did five marathons in January 2022, alone.

So all this distance means that there's abrasion of sock against liner of the boot.  As I was told once upon a water stop by a team mate on the Philadelphia inline skating team, "We just put duct tape in our boots and get another year out of it". 

Another year with their tape, but another five or more with mine.  This 100MPH tape would go for years with my heel and achilles tendon rubbing against it and sliding against the 12 or 13 micron thick olive drab vinyl.

Don't have it?  Well what are ya waitin' for?

Can't get it in Your Country?  I know Amazon has it because that's where I got it this time.  I know that I will be lining my hotspots in my boot liner to get another 2000-3000 miles out of them.

A 25 dollar roll of tape vs a 75 dollar liner for my boots ... twice?  yeah I'll go with the tape.  It's low rent but my sponsorship dried up when the sport did.

But here I am in the South Florida Sun, greased up with sun block, sweaty as they come, but happily squeaking along in my sk8boots chalking up the miles.

Only 1500 miles left to once around the world!

On Yer Left!

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