Category Archives: Sports

BMWs Rad New Vision

By Douglas Black   October 13, 2016

The BMW Group unveiled its vision of the future this week, and it looks fun.  Following its launch of the Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 and Mini Vision Next 100, the iconic nameplate define the start of their second century delivering automotive excellence and style.

In a world where self-driving vehicles will be gliding riders along with subdued deliberate efficiency, the futurists at BMW Group envision an escape.  Described by Head of Design Edgar Heinrich as a “Great Escape” from the mundane world, the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is a concept motorcycle programed for an age of the symbiotic rider-machine experience with Steve McQueen style.


Futuristic ideas include a self-balancing mechanism that will keep the bike upright but allow for angles and banking suited to the riders skill.  Special rider’s gear include a Visor that gives heads-up display with information like speed, directions, and connectivity directed by eye movement.



The machine comes with a companion suit that provides thermal support and structural support for the centrifugal pressures of performance riding, and the zero-emissions powertrain emulates a boxer-style engine.  Turning the handlebars to steer the bike bends the frame rather than just the front wheel. The amount of force required for the rider to create a turn is adjusted according to the Motorrad Vision’s speed – the higher the speed, the more force that is required to make a turn, preventing over-steer and corrections.


The BMW Motorrad design team sees a future world in which digital elements are more common than are analog. In that respect, most aspects of human life are about virtual control and allowing robotic machines to do the mundane tasks of everyday living. In that world, a motorcycle that allows the rider to be in control would become a Great Escape.

The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is on display in Los Angeles at the Iconic Impulses: BMW Group Future Experience exhibition until the 16th of October.


bmw-cycle-selfieThe author awkwardly aboard a BMW bike at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

Douglas Black writes from a room high above the streets of Chicago.  He is also a photographer, historian, amateur astrophysicist, and collector of snake oils (some of which he sells).



by Douglas Black    May 2, 2016

King Power

Gone is the winter of discontent for Leicester City, champions at long last.  The Premier Football League proverbial basement dwellers, who were considered so unlikely to even stay in the league a year ago that 5000-1 was the wager, yes that Leicester City, are finally champions.

Devine intervention? Perhaps.  Or perhaps we must dig deeper.

The much maligned Chieftain of the House of York, King Richard III, who Shakespeare villainized and called ‘undone’, who history has so despised that his resting place was unrecognized for five centuries, has been the curse of the club.

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen as Richard III

Recently the old bent King was found, his bones discovered under a parking lot, dumped unceremoniously in an ancient toilet pit.  Oh, the game was indeed afoot.  Certainly Richard had likewise inflicted such disrespect upon the team, season after season.

But Richard III has now been given his horse, interred with full honors among his peers, and the King smiles upon the land.  The curse has been lifted.

Yes, it has indeed been made glorious summer by this Son of Leicester.


Douglas Black is a writer, photographer and historian living in Chicago.  Also and astrophysics enthusiast.

DouglasBlack at CAS2015 1