Bringing you tips on bike commuting from one dedicated rider in Portland.
Bike commuting accessories you didn’t know you needed
The Speed Vest
Photo Credit: Make Magazine
“Bicyclists receive a lot of honk-based grief from car drivers who perceive them as slow and in the way,” observes Spee Vest designer Mykle Hansen of Portland. “If car users knew how fast cyclists were moving, would they be more willing to share the road?” The Speed Vest displays your cycling speed in big illuminated digits across your back, alerting impatient motorists. Hansen and co-designer Brady Clark of Minneapolis explain how to make your own in Make magazine.
Photo Credit: Cat Ears
Wind noise really annoyed Heidi and Rick Weissner, avid cyclists in Boulder, Colo. “The persistent whooshing sound made carrying on a conversation challenging and, more importantly,” they say, “made it difficult to hear approaching vehicles when cycling on a busy road.” The solution they devised is to attach furry fleece sideburns on the helmet straps that run in front of the ears. The fuzzy barriers buffer oncoming wind so that air flows more smoothly over the ears rather than roaring into them, the Wiessners explain on their website. They were inspired by cats’ ears, which are fringed with fine hairs along their leading edge. It’s the same idea behind the fuzzy mops on microphones that radio and TV people use when recording outdoors in the wind.
Photo Credit: Shuttle Bike
If a river or lake stands in the way of your bike commute, the Italian company SBK Engineering has the answer: a kit that fits in a backpack and converts just about any bicycle into a pedal-powered water craft. The company says it takes 10 minutes to assemble the Shuttle Bike and that it’s easy to operate on the water. “You do not have to be either an expert biker or swimmer but simply enjoy yourself in the respect of the environment and in a completely new way.”