Designing for riding…

Riding out to retrieve my wallet-type unit from work,  my mind did its divergent thing.  Yes, I want to design airbags for the back of a bike. Getting clocked in the rear is a serious fear for cyclists (the rationale behind riding against traffic — but just get a mirror!) tho’ the statistics say things like right hooks are more common.

I suspect, though, that the statistics they are a-changing. Hopefully the right hook stuff is decreasing with better engineering and education, etc. Unfortunately, with the sharp increase in distracted driving, the looking elsewhere and plowing into whatever is in your way would seem to be increasing.

I’d like the airbags to be able to be activated from the handlebars, as well as via collision.   I’d need a few more physics courses, but something shooting backwards would serve to propel the bike forward, which would decrease the relative speed difference between the SUV and me,. as well as providing padding.  Or perhaps forego the padding.  Do something creative with CO2 cartridges … that if the car were within a foot or so, would have an effect (so that if the rider just set the thing off it wouldn’t do something to actually cause a crash.   Of course, the James Bond version would have more creative features.

Then I was thinking of the folks who come down to the bike project who don’t know how to change a tire… or for whom it’s a painfully clumsy process. because of annoying little physical limitations.   THose bus bike racks are elegant and simple and industrial strength.  Could we figure out a tire fixing station like that? Maybe you’ll need a swipe card to get access. It could have a stand and then you move the little ratchety nut grabber unit (if you don’t have quick release) to help you get the wheel off… and a way to turn the bike around to get the other side… then separate the bike from the wheel which is on that ratchety thing, and a telescoping lever helps you get the silly tyre off the rim.   Then you put the tyre around the rotating light thingy that shines a bright light so if there’s a hole you’ll see the light through it (well, okay, that’s not likely to work, but this is brainstorming, okay?) and a little brushy thing will feel for resistance, too, and stop and go BING! if it hits an obstructing staple or chunk of glass.Then you put your used tube in the place for that and get another tube from the place for those, perhaps after sliding monetary units. YOu’ve got your sliding directions panels (no, they don’t have to be touch screen ipad stuff 😛 ) and you change the tube, use the industrial strength lever to get the tyre back on the rim, and… get that bad boy on the bike and head back out.

It’s like self serve at the grocery, it’ll take time… and, welp, the app killer would be that like the grocery store you probly need somebody there to help.   But… worth thinking about…

And yea, I want the spritzer to decorate the sides of the crs with cell phone users with something highly visible.

2 responses to “Designing for riding…

  1. Wouldn’t a wheel-exchange system be simpler? Like the propane exchange systems at the hardware store-you bring in the empty cylinder and get a fresh, new one. Same with the wheels. The tire changing goes on behind the scenes.

  2. Wheel exchange would mean money — and the wheels would have to be compatible. .. and nobody wouldn’t larn nothin’.
    Of course, it *is* a cool concept for, say, a bike culture. Bike wheel vending machines…

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