A Note from Fatty: I’m on the road on work-related business for a few days (yesterday, today and tomorrow). I tell you this for two reasons. First, so you know why I didn’t post yesterday. Second, so you will get a glimpse into my work life and what an important person I am.
Also, I want you to know that I have a new contest coming up. There will be lots of prizes, and none of the prizes are trivial. However, the contest will be strange and will, furthermore, require some effort on your part. In order to keep people from half-heartedly (or no-heartedly) competing, I am considering an entry fee, in the form of a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Yes, I realize I have not told you the nature of the contest yet. But I will tomorrow. And I think you’re going to want to participate.
Finally — and very importantly (because, as I have noted above, I am a very important person) — I have a new article at BikeRadar.com. You can read a preview below, or you can go read the whole article by clicking here.
Innovations for Safer Cycling
Consider the modern automobile. It is a wonder of safety-conscious engineering. Air bags. Anti-lock brakes. Crumple zones. Run-flat tires. Really, it takes considerable ingenuity and a can-do attitude to get yourself seriously injured in a car anymore.
And then there is the bicycle.
During the same 50 years when cars have gained enough sophisticated equipment to protect its passengers from even the most boneheaded of mistakes, the cyclist’s protective equipment innovations number exactly one: a helmet.
Yes, it’s 2007 and the best we’ve got to protect ourselves is a half-dome of styrofoam. Except that anymore, the half dome of styrofoam is mostly full of holes.
Gee, doesn’t that make you feel downright invincible?
Toward improving the chances of surviving the mean streets — or singletrack, for that matter — on a bicycle, I have invented the following equipment to make riding a bike a safer, saner experience.
New Bike Computer Functions
Here’s an interesting fact that I just made up: Your bike computer has more computing power than a 1983 Cray Supercomputer. And yet, all it does is gauge your speed, distance, pitch, latitude, cadence, wattage, longitude, total feet climbed, and average rate of ascent, and your heart rate. What a slacker.
With a little programming and nine new wireless sensors, your bike computer could be made to do so much more. By sensing the humidity, road surface conditions, the amount of alcohol on your breath, tire air pressure, sudden fluctuations in your heart rate, and the angle of your bike to the ground, your bike can tell if you’re about to fall over sideways, whether due to sliding out or simply falling asleep.
When your bike computer notices a slight problem, it simply beeps a gentle reminder. If it notices that you’re wobbling considerably due to what it considers probable drunk cycling, it delivers an incapacitating electric shock to your hands via the handlebars and sdials the police.
If it notices you’ve actually fallen down, the bike computer should phone an ambulance. Unfortunately, however, I have so far been unable to get this feature to work. Every time my bike falls over, the extra mass from all the sensors, batteries, and computing equipment causes the bike to crash extremely hard to the ground, thereby crushing the bike computer into several small pieces.
Yes, I realize that is ironic. Shut up.
PS: BikeRadar now has RSS feeds. A few of you commented about that a while back, so I thought I’d call it to your attention. Even though I am a very important, busy person on a busy, important business trip.