An Apple Tablet for our Bikes

It’s expected that Apple will reboot the publishing industry today with the release of a tablet computer. It’s likely a better Kindle in form and function that also runs web applications. Expect a one more thing announcement regarding software and I suspect that’ll include proxmity (geocoded photos and videos). More on that below.

The context to the unrelenting hype about a tablet (Mac fans have wanted another one since the Newton) is the Apple Store and buying and/or subscribing to magazines, blogs, and papers. Where this potentially matters to those of us with bikes is more mobility and I hope another generation of related apps. Whether in your jersey pocket or mounted on your bike, the iPhone is more ubiquitous than ever in our sport and rides.

Bahamas: Dahon BioLogic iPhone Mount

While I doubt it’s usefulness as a bike computer, I do see the iPhone as a dashboard. For those of us that are connected online – arguably overconnected – we can ride and check in with the office and riding buddies. We’ve been discussing “urban mobility” for years at Intel events, SXSW, Webvisions, and our Mobile Socials. There’s a mobile connectivity thread in our community that’s also driven by the fact us bike geeks are also gadget geeks. In the next month, we’ll have the Reecharge on test to charge our iPhone while we’re riding around. Presumably we could pull a tablet out of messenger bag too and plug it in to the Reecharge battery at a coffee shop while we read a tablet version of Road Bike Action.

The iPod lead to the iPhone and then to follow-on touch-screen devices from Google. We hope the innovation from Apple leads to related innovation from bike computers and related fitness apps. What we’re thinking is we’re out on a ride with a small dongle capturing data. Finish the ride, sync to a tablet or phone, and upload the data to a mashed up Latitude-type community. Want to compare your old-fat-guy time on the climb to your skinny-climbing bro? Click a button to overlay your friend’s ride. For bloggers, we could cross-reference that ride to all photos and videos we shot.

Bahamas: Tourist Photos

After 10:00 AM PDT today, we’ll know more.

How about you readers? Do you want a tablet from Apple or content with being retro in Tweed?

Biking is Back in Beijing

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The City Fix, a blog about urban mobility is reporting that the leaders of the government in Beijing are finally realizing that their recent group-hug of the auto culture is seriously screwing up their city.

That’s great because even by casual observation, the city is, vehicularly-speaking, going to hell in a handbasket. When I was out in Beijing for the Olympics in 2008, it was obvious that cars had really replaced bikes. In many areas of the city I was the only person on a bike in sight. That’s a big change from a culture where the car was a foreign and very expensive novelty.

So the government is putting bike lanes back in, restoring bike rental facilities and trying to crack down on bike theft issues. That’s a trend we hope more cities will follow.

Raleigh Rush Hour Flat Bar

Last week, Raleigh got us a Rush Hour Flat Bar for the talk about design and fixies. The bike looked like rolling art in the Design Commission gallery.

Refresh Seattle: Bikes

I rode it yesterday for a quick spin around the neighborhood

Raleigh Rush Hour Flat Bar: single, fixed

and timing wise, just as I was about to write a review, Urban Velo published there intial test. From the parts mix, to the paint, price, and color-matched components, we are in agreement on the bike.

I disagree with Urban Velo’s “queues from the handbuilt show” take because builders in that show, as well as builders in Portland, make the old like everyone else in this industry. The who influences who debate aside, we saw this bike and more steel initially last summer when Raleigh visited us en route to a Momentum Magazine photoshoot.

We’ll compare notes again with Urban Velo once their long term review is complete and we’ve ridden it into town a few more times.

Buy Speed - Go Faster!

There’s a shop in the Chicago area that used to have sell products based on windtunnel data. Notecards about the product would say things like “Buy this set of Mavic Cosmic Carbone’s and save 45 seconds in a 40k TT. Only $30 a second!”. We used to call it “buying speed”. I’m not sure if the intent here is the same…but it’s sort of cool anyway.

Huggacast 132: Mobile Social Worldwide

In the Fall of 2009, Bike Hugger rode urban in London, Amsterdam, Prague, and New Dehli. Along the way we met lots of people incuding Alien8, Marc from Amsterdamize, Henry from WorkCycles, and the good people of India.

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Watch now on YouTube or download and sync to iTunes, your iPod, iPhone. Subscribe to the Huggacast Feed for more episodes.

iPhone

iPhone users can download and watch now and access our Huggacasts via the iTunes Store on a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

We’ll kick off another year of Mobile Socials @fitc next month.

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