National Geographic : 1962 Feb
across the broad Soviet land mass and on picket ships at sea, but apparently nothing like the life-preserving world ring the United States has set up. As the capsule moves from west to east, it is picked up first by Bermuda. Although that sun-washed island is site of the largest and most important of the overseas tracking posts, it seemed to me incongruous for such an in stallation (page 188). The clean profiles of ra dar antennas contrast sharply with the soft outlines of pastel houses and whitewashed roofs and the profusion of oleander and hi biscus that makes the island a garden. In this British colony engineers work at frantic speed to read and interpret infor 192 mation from the 17,500-mile-an-hour space craft, then drive home at a maximum legal speed of 20 miles an hour along winding, two-lane roads. Until World War II the island was innocent of automobiles. One bridge still bears the admonition, "Walk Your Horses." Because car ownership is expensive and strictly regulated, some Mercury people travel by motorbike, exchanging a pair of head phones for a bulky helmet strapped firmly under the chin. "Don't laugh," said one motorbike rider to me as he buckled on his hard hat. "These things are necessary if you ride a 'suicycle,' because of accidents. I've still got a 'road rash' from my last spill."