Showing posts with label bikes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bikes. Show all posts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bikes, Grips and Sexy: The New Math

Hey there! Long time no write, I know. I have worked out in every detail an invention that will produce buckets of time that I can use as I wish, but unfortunately I have not had any time to build it. Isn't that just always the way when you want to fine-tune the Universe a bit? Terrible.

So, anyway, some other creative people sent me an email recently. They wanted me to pass on their message and maybe help drum up support for their project, something called OOQI grips. Here's their email:

Hey! we dig the ride you posted on Fixed Gear Gallery!

We like sexy bikes and feel that they deserve sexy bike grips. OOQI grips are fat and sexy. A fat grip is more ergonomic and absorbs vibrations better than a regular, puny, loser grip. Also they're sexy.

We’re trying to spread the notion of do-it-yourself bike customization and getting more people riding bikes as a main mode of transit. You can support us by visiting our website ( and our Kickstarter (

If you dig it, please spread it.

Much love,
Eddy + Jared

I really don't mind passing on this link because who knows, these grips (or the potential of these grips, I guess) might really appeal to somebody who reads this blog. So I guess I'm spreading it despite the fact that I don't personally dig it. The whole notion of "kickstarter" campaigns is interesting to me too, because I don't know how I feel about them. I mean, I usually don't have much trouble forming opinions about things, but this time I am ambivalent.

I am not necessarily convinced that what they are really trying to do is "spread the notion of do-it-yourself bike customization and getting more people riding bikes as a main mode of transit"; I have a sneaking suspicion that what they are trying to do is make and sell bicycle grips. Every maker of everything, however, seems to need ad copy that says they're really about something else these days, so I don't really hold that against them either.

My last observation is that I have another sneaking suspicion, one that they didn't look very hard at my bike and that the fact that I posted it on was enough to make me part of their target consumer group. The thing is, while I do ride a fixed gear, I may well be one the least likely consumers of this style of grip they could have found.  My guess is that their target consumer would be more like this dude on their website:

I couldn't use grips like theirs on my bike. And they like sexy bikes. No offense to my fixed gear, but I think I am the only one who might find it sexy. I also have a thing for women using lawnmowers, and I would expect that the demographic for that one would be equally insignificant. I haven't done any pictorial math for a while... perhaps if you are finding my writing as confusing as I do, the following expressions will help:

Whew! I'm glad I found a way to make myself clear. I'm off to find a good therapist, you have a nice day now.

Yer Pal,

Friday, September 4, 2009


I always feel like posting something on Fridays, but never feel like working on something in advance. So here for your enjoyment are just a few images of people smoking on bicycles, because as we all know, smoking is super cool. Bikes are also super cool. So smoking on a bike is super super cool, right?


When it comes to smoking, no one does it like the French:


They even have a different mental image of "smoking tires"!


I'm half French, and if I don't get out and do some non-commute riding again soon I may begin to resemble that French Michelin Man! Have a great holiday weekend.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


As you may well know, when I write blog posts I often go looking for or create pictures to go with. Sometimes, the pictures don't fit in or work out or I just find ones I like better. Since I couldn't come up with commentary on them before, I see no reason to try now; I present for your enjoyment or revulsion the following unused images which will speak for themselves, I think. I added the "vol. 1" to the title because unused pics are bound to accumulate again and again, so why waste 'em?

Hoping to have a good idea sometime soon,
Yer Pal,

Friday, June 5, 2009

Concept Bikes: Notes From The FUTURE!

I'm sure many of you have seen some really cool designer concept bikes before. In this post, I've gathered some that point to the future, revealing a great many things I hadn't ever imagined! I have included some of the features and descriptions of these mind-blowing machines, and will conclude with some observations about what these bikes have to tell us about the future.

The Nulla

Nulla bike is a minimalist bike concept. Nulla is one way of saying “nothing” in Italian. Bradford Waugh named it that way for lack of central hubs or chain-drive, giving it a very minimal visual weight... This futuristic bicycle provides deep coverage, good appearance and comfort perfect for riding and skating. However, it is not sure whether you will have a safe riding with this kind of seat on a bicycle.

It's just a guess, but I think that maybe something was literally lost in translation on this one.

'One' Folding Bicycle

When open, ‘One’ is a comfortable stylish bicycle that not only offers all the benefits of cycling (like cheap travel and exercise) but with its revolutionary power assist system the user can cruise around with ease. When folded, ‘One’ turns into a smooth, light and compact case free of all dirty and protruding parts. ‘One’ can be easily carried, stowed and stored.
Perhaps in the future more highly evolved humans will be as advanced as this folding bike, and finally be free of all dirty and protruding parts... who knows? I always thought folding bikes were kind of weird. This, however, has opened my eyes as wide as this bike's frame-holes! Wow!

Check out this bike design for Polygon which is a combination of standard bike and music player. Today, everyone prefers music while driving, at the gym, at work, on the street or even in library. Music has become the lifestyle of today’s generation and therefore, this bike is designed with the rhythm of today’s lifestyle. There is a music player attached with the adjustable steering and it can turn the energy of the bike into power and automatically store it in the battery which can be later used for light at night and brake light. Style and amazing look is something that this bike surely offers.
This is the most elaborate ipod carrying case I've ever seen! Listening to music while cycling in traffic won't be a bad idea in the future, since the "cars" will all be airborne anyway, and the safety force fields will take over if you don't hear something approaching. The future is gonna rock!

Organik Motion

Organik Motion Is based on a Z-frame concept. It features a fully integrated braking system, integrated front and rear suspension systems, an integrated shaft drive and a height adjustable saddle and handlebars. This comes along with a joystick-mounted gear and break lever system, which is integrated in the ergonomic handlebars. Additionally, the bicycle features a static inner wheel system with safety features such as integrated reflectors on the rotating outer wheels and a taillight, which is mounted in the bike’s frame.

The future is SO INTEGRATED! I can't wait.

What can we learn from these stunning visions of the future? More than you might guess. For starters, the human body is going to change, such that normal people will easily assume aero riding positions that only serious racers can manage for long in these crude times, apparently by developing much longer torsos:

The people of the future, like the people of the present, will have a retro streak, and wear ski helmets in homage to the "snow age", since they can afford a little drag given their low position and streamlined machines:

The future of hubs, spokes and chains doesn't look too good; in fact my best guess is that they get banned for some reason. Although it may seem odd to my feeble brain, I have to trust that a more advanced human race will have good reason to stamp them out in favour of integrated direct drive systems and empty circles.

To my present-day mind it seems that wheels would bend and drivetrains would be impossible to work on, which would be necessary to make them work at all; of course I'm stuck in my stupid reality that doesn't have much in the way of nano-bike-component-robot-drones. The future's hatred of visible moving parts kind of freaks me out - but I know that these machines will be so reliable that understanding how they work will be completely unnecessary, kind of like the political systems in use in most democratic countries today, or you know, laws and all that stuff.

Please don't copy me, but I think I know where to invest my money, thanks to this vision of how bikes will be. Backpacks. I am going to research the hell out of backpack companies, because racks, panniers or baskets will be GONE in the future. Well OK, you can use this info too... but if you blab this all over and drive backpack company stock prices up, I swear, I won't be your friend any more.
I learned not only about the future in my research, but also about the present, by looking at the comments on these designs. I had no idea that so many Engineers browse these designs, or how negative they are. Their "status quo" thinking prompts them to point out all the ways in which the designs couldn't work. These bikes are from the FUTURE! Show some vision, you Internet Engineers. I don't like that lack of vision, but I truly pity the commenters (and there is always at least one) who asks, "Are these available now?" Once again, these are the bikes of the FUTURE!

Keep Looking Forward,


PS - I'm not perfect. If any of you "Are These Available Now" people can find any of these bikes being produced and sold, please accept my apologies. Email me with the information, and I will GIVE you, with no strings attached, every last one of my backpack company shares as a gesture of good will.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Little Monkey See, Little Monkey Do

I think many of us fall into a trap when teaching our kids to ride. We naturally "protect", rather than teach by example, our children. I have been introducing my kids, who are 7 and 10, to road riding on relatively quiet streets for a while. Last weekend, however, I thought I should walk my talk and try them on some busier (although of course not crazy) roads.

My kids were invigorated and excited by the experience. In short, I think it made them feel powerful. Empowerment is at the heart of successful road riding. You have to ditch your preconceived notions about your inferior position on the road, and stake a claim to your safety. For grownups, this is often very difficult. It is even harder when you know it's not just you, it's your most cherished people. Rationally, I know my kids will be more safe riding on the street as they grow up. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to stay rational when it comes to your children. I myself still don't assert my road rights as well as I should, although I think I do pretty well. I often see parents riding with their kids on the sidewalk, or having the kids ride on the sidewalk while they ride on the street. I have been learning as I go with this... my kids rode on the sidewalk too until I was sure they had sufficient control of their bikes to hold a nice steady line and work their brakes well.

I took one other leap last weekend; I rode at the front. In the past, I would tail the children, riding further into the lane than they did to make sure cars gave them a wide berth. As we set out on busier roads, however, it dawned on me that if they were to assume the correct lane position, in order to make a left turn or in approaching a 4-way stop, the single easiest way to show them where to be was to say, "ride where I ride". No shouted instructions, no complex concepts. Just "ride where I ride". Sometimes, as we approached a new road situation, I would pull our little group over and explain how the moves ahead were going to happen, and what to do if the situation changed between when I got there and when they did. It scared the hell out of me, and made them just mildly nervous and excited. It worked. I plan to do more of this sort of thing as the summer progresses; I hope my heart can take it, because I am more convinced than ever of its value to their enjoyment of bikes and their overall safety.

Being in front of the children demonstrated to them all kinds of things that would have taken years to convey by talking at them, and the more I do it, the more they will see safe behaviours as normal riding.

Like I said, I'm making this stuff up as I go. If you have good ideas or specialized knowledge of teaching road cycling to children, I would welcome your comments even more than I usually do.

Lead By Example,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bicycle Abuse

In a recent post I figured out that I am incapable of being annoyed by bike-related things. Once again I have proven to myself that my theories and thinking are completely flawed, because the day after I wrote that stuff, I found this:

I am not completely certain why this video bothers me, but my annoyance upon viewing it was beyond all proportion. People do all kinds of silly things with bikes... why would this get me all worked up? The title calls this stuff "Unbelievable", but sadly it is completely believable that a few people would get together to fashion something that doesn't appear to work very well, and test it using a bike and a person that don't fit each other at all. The guy can barely control the bike thanks to concentrating on keeping a cigarette butt clenched between his lips.

Does this video bug you too? Or should I just mellow out? Let me know.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, April 6, 2009

Who Knew? Blogging is Difficult

Like so many bloggers before me, I started my blog thinking that I had lots to say and that posting quality stuff often wouldn't be too hard. As you can tell from the shortage of posts on this this site in 2009, that did not turn out to be true at all. Family life and other interests/obsessions, it would seem, easily come between me and writing regularly.

I don't know how the few bloggers I like to read post so much funny and well-written material so often, but I have a renewed respect for their dedication and ability. I'm writing this post, however, not to declare defeat but to serve notice that I am re-committing to my goal of writing regularly, and to win back that one regular reader I thought I almost had for a while there.

I can appreciate why people seem to like twitter, since it requires very little thought and does not allow lengthy expression. My goal, however, has always been to write well and be interesting or entertaining, and toward that end I am planning to start slowly, but remain steady by posting something once a week for now, starting with this one. I guess that means my regular post will be on Mondays! Please tune in next week to see if I fail right away or make a good start.

Since this post hasn't been about anything, really, here's something cycling related that might make this visit worth your while:

I'm wondering if there is a little motor with a remote installed on that bike. The chainguard is kind of odd looking, and the "trainer" looks a little fishy. Your thoughts? Thanks for stopping in, and I'll be back next Monday.

Yer Pal,


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Patently Fun!!!

Since I'm always looking for innovations in cycling like my bicycle expectoration system, I sometimes check out the US Patent office to see what other creative geniuses are coming up with. On my last visit I was not disappointed.

The inventor was my kind of person, someone who wants to help us all to address a serious problem in our North American society:

The bicycle is referred to by some as the greatest invention. Unfortunately as our modern society tends toward a more sedentary lifestyle, we utilize the greatest invention less and less, and instead are mind-numbingly entertained by computers and video games. The result of our increased fondness of electronic entertainment and the corresponding decrease in physical activity is a society plagued by both adult and childhood obesity. In addition to our waning physical condition, our intellect is likewise being diminished by hours upon hours in front of the television.

Anyone ready to tackle our sedentary ways using the graceful, simple bicycle is OK in my book. But how? What could they have in mind? When I saw the answer, it was blindingly obvious, like something I had known at a subconscious level all along. Of course! We can trump video games and TV by making bikes more engaging; we can simulate air-to-air and air-to ground combat with them!

The present invention simulates aerial warfare using bicycles as movement stands for two-dimensional aircraft models and laser tag air-to-air/golf ball air-to-ground simulated combat systems. This invention transforms miniature aircraft gaming to a larger scale with an emphasis on real-world skills, tactical acumen and personal physical involvement in the game by providing a means for actually engaging and defeating an opposing player or players with the use of a laser tag system. A golf ball dispenser also can be used to bomb targets placed on the ground. By using different means for dispensing the golf ball "bombs," play can simulate dive-bombing, torpedo bombing and level bombing. The present invention readily lends itself to individual or group play with historical scenarios, campaigns, role-playing and the like; aerial warfare re-enacting becomes a possibility. With little modification, players can engage in futuristic inter-galactic space battle as well.

The final frontier! Vintage planes! Warfare! Using Bikes! Man oh man, show me how!

The bicycle depicted has its drivetrain on the left side, which I think might be quite rare; however I see no reason that the design would be affected by being applied to more typical right-sided bikes, so I could overlook that easily enough.
It looked to me like that the amount of tubing was roughly equal to the amount found in the bicycle itself, and that coupled with the airplane cutouts might prove quite heavy. Not so, it would seem:

The bicycle combat simulator includes a two-dimensional representation of a combat vehicle, preferably an historical aircraft, viewed from both the right and left side and constructed of readily available, light-weight materials, and painted appropriately. The simulator sides are easily mounted to and dismounted from a frame attached to a bicycle with "U" bolts. The frame allows the simulator to be held safely away from the handlebars and the rider, while providing an enclosed "feel". Neither the frame nor the two-dimensional simulator sides adds significantly to wind resistance or to the weight of the bicycle, thereby avoiding excessive physical demands on the rider/player. The design allows for easy mounting/dismounting of the bicycle and for walking the bicycle when needed.

Well OK then! Through the use of readily available lightweight materials, the frame and sides don't add much weight, and provide enough freedom of motion and yet an enclosed "feel". I knew I was feeling a little too "out there" when riding. Excellent.

As a winter cyclist, I often ride in tricky snow conditions, and every summer I feel like I lose some of my ability. Well, not any more...

The best playing area for the air-to-ground combat system is a parking lot, school yard, or other location with a relatively smooth surface. The "bombing" system of the bicycle combat simulator is a simple golf ball dispenser which applies direction to the ball, while the speed of the bicycle determines the velocity of the ball and its distance.

It's just a guess, but I suspect that riding around a parking lot strewn with stray golf balls might be just the ticket for keeping my bike handling skills sharp. So far so good!

Just when I was getting really excited, I thought of something that brought me down a little. You know what they say: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It is stated in the patent that wind resistance is not adversely affected, but I'm not so sure. I shall attempt to illustrate:

You see, those cutouts would give the bicycle a surface area similar to a small sail, and I'm guessing it wouldn't take much wind to knock you over. You know, given all the positives associated with this idea, maybe being crashed by crosswinds isn't so bad... I'll bet lots of those vintage planes were terrible in a crosswind.

The present invention readily lends itself to individual or group play with historical scenarios, campaigns, role-playing and the like...

I'll say! I'm thinking that this "simulator" has lots of potential for very realistic historical re-enactments, particularly when using some of the very early war planes. They were slow, cumbersome, and crashed often.

If you want to really live the history around World War One, hone your bike skills, feel enclosed while cycling and have all the fun associated with battling your friends with laser beams, get your sedentary butt off the couch and start building. I don't think you'll be sued for patent infringement or whatever it's called so long as you don't try to sell it. Strangely, I was unable to find a commercially available manifestation of this system, but I guess everything isn't sold on the Internet.

If you happen to know that this system is indeed for sale somewhere, please, please tell me where with a comment.