Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Floating like Bibendum

Monsieur Bibendum, the Michelin Man, has been the chief symbol of the French tire company since he was created in 1898. Legend has it that the designer, Mr. O'Galop, was inspired by the sight of a pile of rubber tires. In his earliest incarnations, Monsieur Bibendum had many more thinner roles, as Michelin made bicycle tires at the beginning of the 20th-century; but as the company moved into the production of car tires, his shape changed accordingly. Always depicted as an active, friendly figure, Monsieur Bibendum has achieved lasting success, being both highly memorable and evocative of the product he represents.
In 2000, the Michelin logo was chosen 'Logo of the Century' by an international jury.

This evening I had my first paddle in the new Palm Drysuit. The conditions were perfect for testing: it was just freezing, a thin layer of ice on the kayak, water temperature about 2 or 3 degrees Celsius. After a 10 km paddling with speedy Guus, I did some rolling, re-entry and tried floating in the water. The dry part (paddling) at this temperature was comfortable. The wet part was a totally new experience: with the air trapped in the drysuit, I felt like Bibendum floating on the water. A big sensation, almost absurd, to lie so relaxed in cold water: totally dry and not freezing!

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