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The fortnight in cycling vol 5: Game shows and gyroscopes

Cycling Blog

The fortnight in cycling vol 5: Game shows and gyroscopes

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January 24th, 2015

An Australian game show has caused uproar among cyclists by asking contestants to name “something annoying that a cyclist might do”. The show, Family Feud (similar to Family Fortunes) sees contestants score points according to how many members of the public also chose their answer.

According to the Australian public and the Zamora family, cyclists might:

  • Take the driving lane
  • Cut you off
  • Run a red light
  • Pull out in front
  • Ride slowly
  • Ring their bell
  • Wear lycra (we agree it can be a questionable fashion choice, but annoying?)
  • ‘Everything’ (we really can’t catch a break can we?)

Over at the Guardian, Steven Herrick has written an excellent reposte to this controversial segment in the form of a round-up of annoying things “an anti-cyclist may say”:

  • “Get registration and pay your way!”
  • “Get registration so you can be identified!”
  • “Get insured!”
  • “Get off my footpath!”
  • “Get out of the lycra!” (we had no idea the public hated our lycra so much)
  • “Get your exercise in a gym!” (fantastically absurd)
  • “You can’t overtake me on the left!”
  • “Get off the road!”

The (seemingly perpetual) controversy and animosity on both sides clouds an important debate that needs to be had. Many cyclists’ grievances are justified just as much as the public’s, and for every angry driver or pedestrian there’s a cyclist who’ll jump a red light or ride recklessly on the pavement. We think these points (and the analysis Steven offers) are a good prompt to learn about what cyclists can and can’t do, and to resolve to educate other road users on both sides.

Tying into the above, we invite you to take a survey being carried out by Wes Marshall and Kevin Krizek, who are co-directors of the Active Communities Transportation Research Group. The survey aims to find out how (and why) cyclists may decide to break the rules sometimes. The aim is to increase understanding of cyclists’ habits and factor these into future urban planning, with a view to increasing safety of all road users.

Groovy tech

We’ve found three great pieces of tech this week, each targetted at a different aspect of cycling.

The first, Jyrobike, has been on our radar since they smashed a Kickstarter campaign back in July ($185k raised on $100k target). Killian Fox spoke to Jyrobike’s CEO Rob Bodill about the aims of the bike, which provides balance to riders who may otherwise struggle through the use of a flywheel that generates a gyroscopic effect. Bodill sees the bike as an alternative to stabilisers when teaching a child to ride (offering support that can be reduced as they gain confidence) or as a tool to help people with conditions that effect their balance (offering permanent support).

Ebove piqued our interest as well. This is somewhere between a mounted excercise bike and a virtual reality video game. The bike is fixed on a gimbal meaning that the motion of movement is more realistic than a standard exercise bike, which apparently makes the whole motion feel more authentic. Our favourite part of the article we read about Ebove is that “the laws of physics aren’t strictly adhered to”, giving “adventurous” users the opportunity to ride off cliffs, perform loop-the-loops, and other similarly wacky feats.

And to finish, another crowdfunded project that reminds us COBI, which we covered in Volume 3. The Uno Noteband follows the current trend of an all-in-one gadget that tracks your fitness, your social life, and various other things you may need while on the go. The USP here is the method by which notiifications are delivered – by using Spritz, a “new reading compression technology to enable one touch reading”, Uno lets you quickly and easily glance at notifications at a safe time. You can see Spritz in action below – it’s pretty nifty:


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