Tips 24


Quick, easy solutions

Spray-On Cooking Oil As Expedient Wetsuit Remover

As a triathlete, I practice the transition during every training session, meaning I try to remove my wetsuit in super fast time.

Every Friday last summer I swam in a lake in my Promotion triathlon wetsuit. I spent the whole summer struggling to get off my wetsuit. I tried slopping some water down the front before getting out of the water, Superglide and all kinds of things. My Ironman friend swears by Pam Spray On Cooking Oil. He’s used it for 17 years and has had no damage to his wetsuits. You can’t buy Pam in the UK (at least not cheaply). All I could find was Frys spray on oil. I bought a pump-action one since this is more eco-friendly.

I got to the lake one Friday and sprayed a generous coating on my legs. I was sure the oil would come off during my hour-long swim so I didn’t really expect it to work. As I clambered out of the water I unzipped my wetsuit, ripped it down to my waist and then pulled it off my legs. I couldn’t believe how effective this is. Triathletes normally try to pull a wetsuit down enough that they can tred on it to pull the rest of it off. I hadn’t managed to do this all summer, but on my first attempt using cooking oil, I was instantly able to get the wetsuit down. Absolutely perfect!

— Carl Myhill

Chopsticks for Whisking

On one of my trips to Asia, I noticed an omelet chef at breakfast using a pair of chopsticks to whisk the eggs. Since then, I have kept several pairs of good quality chopsticks in my kitchen for whisking and stirring jobs where a traditional balloon whisk is simply too big and can’t get into the container’s corners, or if the pot does not have a rounded bottom. Simply grasp the chopsticks together as if they were a pair of pencils; hold towards the thick end. For more whisking power, slightly separate the two thin ends. As with a balloon whisk, most of the power should come from moving your forearm from the elbow, with your wrist providing a whip-like follow through. — Aryeh Abramovitz

Tie Wraps in a Bike Repair Kit

I would strongly suggest adding tie-wraps or zip ties to any bicycle repair set. They can hold a whole lot of things in place when screws get lost… I’m speaking here as an avid cyclist (I do about 2 to 3000 kilometers every year, most in vacations). — Michiel Kemeling

Prevent Flat Bike/Motorcycle Tires

Here’s an easier way to flat-proof your bicycle: make a flap of stiff plastic that extends in front of the back wheel until it nearly touches the pavement. Then glue or rivet a rubber flap to the lower edge that brushes against the pavement. A bleach bottle is a particularly good source of plastic since you can gain some stiffness from curve to the neck, and depending on your bicycle design, you might even profit from the neck itself. I learned this many years ago when I was a motorcycle mechanic and discovered that perhaps 90 percent of all flats are on the back wheel. The reason: the front wheel stands the object up, the back wheel runs into it. All the flap does is knock the object back down, and that’s all that’s necessary. I put one these on my motorcycles and have never again had a flat in more than thirty years and hundreds of thousands of miles of riding. I put them on my bicycles too, and never have flats. — Bill Babcock

Quick Ways To Open a Shrinkwrapped CD

I got my start writing about music, so I received review copies of a lot of CDs. Since the days of physical, shrinkwrapped CDs are numbered, I feel compelled to share the two solutions I picked up. 1) To cut the shrinkwrap, vigorously rub one side of the disc on the corner or leg of a desk (preferably a metal one). Don’t rub the face of the case, otherwise you’ll scratch it. 2) To remove the barcode sticker binding the edge of the case: pry open the case at the hinges, then use the leverage to pull the sticker off in one long, quick movement.

These are so simple, I was able to do both in a minute with my left hand (I’m right-handed).

— Steven Leckart

Shrinkwrap removal…

Sticker removal…


© 2022