My idea of a design contest for improving things for cycling.

Okay, I’ve seen design contests for “new kinds of bicycles so that non-riders will want to ride” that don’t make sense to me. The reasons not to ride tend to have *nothing* to do with bicycle design. Give me a design contest for the real challenges of riding. First contest: a way to cross an interstate.

It doesn’t have to be “up to code” but it shouldn’t be too dangerous — a plain old slingshot won’t cut it. However, a sling that I ride on going, say, *under* an overpass instead of struggling up a skinny ol’ lane? (Or somehow attaching from one road sign to another to give me height?) A plastic telescoping rainbow-shaped tube?

Then I would buy Lisa’s house.  It’s close to work buit across the INterstate.  (Okay, I wouldn’t, but it’s what made me think of this.)

6 responses to “My idea of a design contest for improving things for cycling.

  1. well going up is typically what is designed as its the “easiest” and cheapest. However it should go under the road such as a tunnel with limited change in grade for the cyclist or pedestrian 😉

    yes yes I know what you mean, I agree we need less design the next coolest bike, and more design the street you are on to be less car friendly. However you need to have community members working with real planners and designers on this, but it can be done and is done in a lot of places in NYC that I know about.

  2. Where I live we opted for just plain old rainbows instead of the telescoping rainbow shaped tube. It was cheaper.

    …and sometimes unicorns ride on them with us.

  3. And I bet they aren’t even carbon fiber unicorns.

  4. Oh, and I *do* want to see that as a design contest. I mean, those contests are “all about” thinking in new directions — yet they’re boxed in to their “we need a better machine” thinking when we can think beyond the machine. Imagine if I had enough helium balloons to get me over, spectacle and all 🙂

  5. Despite the sarcasm and the high functionality of the standard bike, some recent design advances have improved the useability of bikes, e.g.

    1) bikes that are easy to sit on and put your feet down from

    2) folding bikes that are easy to transport on busses, trains, and planes

    3) the traditional ‘city bikes’ that are common in Europe but are relatively rare here, featuring
    -puncture resistant tires
    -integrated generator lights
    -integrated locks that immobilize the rear wheel

    4) on my wish list is a hybrid generator-rechargeable battery light for commuting

    • Good points, all of ’em. I had my bike shop guy put on a Sturmey-Archer drum brake/generator hub on my front wheel, but yes, I’ve searched long for a *true* “commuter” bike here in the states.

      I still want contests and design efforts going towards Other Factors! I want to get across the interstate…

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