Monthly Archives: April 2015

Wheelmen Aroused

An article with the headline “Wheelmen Aroused” appears in the New York Daily Tribune on September 9, 1899 (pg 6).  Translating this into modern English the headline should read something like “Cyclists Angered”.  This headline amuses me so much, I’ve added it as one of the Wheeled Thing’s categories for items that really annoy the Wheeled Thing crew.

Wheelmen Aroused

The article itself, as can be seen from the subheading, is about the efforts of the League of American Wheelmen, the Associated Cycling Clubs of New York, the Associated Cycling Clubs of Long Island, the Good Roads Association of Long Island and the New York Consulate to to secure a “wheelway over the” Brooklyn Bridge.

They argue that a wheelway will save riders $0.10 per day (about $2.50 adjusted for inflation), and that the “bicycle was no longer a toy nor wholly a vehicle of pleasure… it is the poor man’s horse”

Unfortunately this wheelman is aroused that these same fights for bridge access are still going on more than 100 years later.

Source: ProQuestProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Tribune

Horrible, shameful naked lady bike from Abbott Cycles

Carbon fiber gives us unprecedented ability to craft the shape of a bicycle frame. But the fact that you can execute novel frame designs doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Case in point, the “Signorina” naked lady bicycle from Abbott Cycles. (Note that I have linked to them via “nodotlink.com” deliberately to deny them the page views that may well have driven them to execute this stunt).

Look bad, huh? Wait, it gets worse.

Look bad, huh? Wait, it gets worse.

Anybody buying this frame should have to register as a sex offender.

Anybody buying this frame should have to register as a sex offender.

Horses and Bicycles!

Found this trolling through the America’s Historical Imprints database.

It’s an advertising card, but there is no year on it…they guess sometime between 1870 and 1900.  So this could be the 125th anniversary of the Six Day Bike vs. Horse Race!

I could find nothing else about this historic event – assuming it is the 125th anniversary – the $2,000 prize comes out to over $50,000 – not a bad haul for racing horses for six days.

I wonder if we could organize one of these today?  Sounds like fun.

Bikes-and-Horses-back Bikes-and-Horses-front

Source: American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1, no. 30306

Skatecycle — the unholy union of an Orbitwheel and a Razor Ripstick

What happens if you combine Orbitwheels

Arggghhh! Stop me!!!

Arggghhh! Stop me!!!

with a Razor Ripstick?

Ripster RD shown here.

Ripster RD shown here.

I suspect the answer looks something like the Skatecycle,

Skatecycle, as rendered by Adobe.

Skatecycle, as rendered by Adobe.

This device is real and the manufacturer shares some videos online


that make clear it’s possible to control these things pretty well. Is that Washington Square Park? I like that none of the pedestrians even break stride for this guy. The device fits into its environment pretty well.

skatecyccle 2

Available online from various sources for about $170.

It worked for Tesla, so let’s try Faraday

Nikola Tesla – Inventor of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.

Michael Faraday – Scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.

Tesla Motors has a market cap of $26 Billion (4/27/15).  I’m guessing the folks at Faraday Bicycles Inc. are hoping some of that old time smart guy magic will rub into their wallets too.  Maybe they can cut a deal with Tesla Motors… buy a Tesla and get a Faraday.

Faraday_HeroKS_Cream

What is a Faraday bike – well it’s a $3,500 electric bicycle that weighs 39 lbs.  It’s got a steel frame and bamboo fenders.  Basically it’s an expensive electric bicycle with a bit of style and an attempt at heritage.  The battery which is mounted under the seat provides 20 miles of “pedal assist”.

I wish them luck, but it seems like just an overpriced heavy bike.   If the bike was say, 20 pounds lighter, you might not need the “pedal assist”.

Laser lane marker. Why?

A bunch of companies are selling laser lane markers (perhaps rebranding a gadget being pumped out of a factory somewhere on the outskirts of Shenzhen). These are rear lights for bicycles that incorporate downward-sloping red lasers that create lines on the road behind the bike.

This is for some reason expected to be safer than a blinking red light on its own.

Drivers are, I supposed, expected to be afraid of lasers?

Drivers are, I supposed, expected to be afraid of lasers?

These are available online for $25 or less. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

Also good for blasting Imperial Stormtroopers.

Also good for blasting Imperial Stormtroopers.