A couple years ago, Matt made a dynamic bike headlight with a Raspberry Pi and a small, battery-operated projector. Then shared it with us during his Built talk, at SXSW. He’s since updated the project to include animations and posted this video about it.
How we get around town
Biking: a ride with zero wait time, no spying, and lots of nice people
Uber’s the latest disruptive service taking the world by storm. And to be honest, it’s a pretty darn smart and imaginative way to use technology. But for a lot of trips, there’s an even better way to get around town, and that’s on a bicycle. Yeah that’s right, old school technology. But if you think about it, biking has some real advantages. Like for instance you get to leave whenever you want – there’s never any waiting for the next bus or train or finding your car in the parking lot. When you’re ready to go, you just go. Start up and maintenance costs? Well a decent bike starts at 2-3 months of gas money. A lot of times, when traffic is bad, it’s faster to get around by bike.
Even better is a folding bicycle because it fits so well with trains and buses and ferries and cars - every other form of transport. Raining hard in the evening? fold your bike and catch a ride home with a friend. Need to get across town – fold your bike and hop on the subway for part of it. Best of all, you never need to leave your bike chained outside because it folds and stashes in a closet or under a desk.
But you know what I love best about biking? It’s that my short trips add up to a work out so that when I get home at the end of the day, I can lounge around and be lazy, guilt-free. Guilt-free laziness? Now that’s something precious.
Last month I went back to my 25th reunion at Stanford. Since Stanford’s a pretty big campus and events were scattered all over, I decided to bring my bike with me. I packed my folding Tern into my Samsonite, hopped on a plane in Taipei, and arrived in SF a short 14 hours later. Every day, I’d drive to campus, park in alumni parking (very far from everything), pull my bike out of the trunk and within 10 seconds have instant transportation. My first stop was visiting my freshman dorm (that I shared with Peter Thiel) and just as I was pulling up, ran into one of my closest friends who was visiting with his family. That’s another one of the great things about cycling - the interactions with people that you just can’t get if you’re in an enclosed metal box.
Zipping around campus by bike, I managed to do everything I wanted to during Reunion weekend - even managing the double-booked time slots because I could get from one side of campus to the other in just a few minutes.
On my way back to Taipei, heading to the airport I took my first Uber ride. It was a surprisingly good experience. But if you’ve got a choice, try a bike. You just might like the experience even more.
Also with the burn-ban-bad air in Seattle, we’re thinking more about zero-emissions, multimodal transport and the fun you can have too…like with an electric car and a folding bike. I’ll tell you more about that in feature story I’m working on. For now, see the vignette I shared in the Medium Bicycles Collection about driving to a rails-to-trails ride with a BMW i3.
An i3 on the way out of town to a ride in the mountains
One of the reasons we’d don’t publish gear shootouts on our blog is kit made within the past few years is all so good – really. Find the jacket that fits, a style you like, appealing brand, budget, and your epic ride and/or commute to work is covered. We’ve gone from on-fire hot Gore to their much more all-condition ActiveShell. A once clammy eVent jacket that fit like a garbage bag is now tailored like the Elite Pro from ShowerPass and being used by a Tour team (free cover story in Issue 18).
I made the Vine above last night having some fun, asking our follows if it was cuff over or under? Also to bring up a function of the jacket gear makers can iterate and offer as a unique feature. The interaction of the cuff and glove seems little studied or designed. Depending on the jacket, glove, and cuff I’m either over or under; wind chill, wicking, and temperature changes also affect cuff over or under decisions. I may even change it mid-ride too.
Waiting for Assos to develop glove-base-layer-outer-shell system and charge $1,500.00. Cause when you’re out in the elements things like a gap or wrinkle can bug the shit outta yah.
For sure and what you’re seeing in the video, is the new Gore Windstopper, soft shell gloves have a Primaloft liner in them with a pull and a pull on the glove. A bit clunky to get on, but worked very well in the 25-32 degrees temps I’ve ridden in so far because of the warm fleece and the wicking liner. However, that wicking resulted in damp wrists and when we turned into the wind, chilled wrists. So mid ride I’m switching to cuff under, because that wicked moisture from my apparently sweaty palms is pooling on my wrists.
As Steve said, you know exactly and instantly where there are gaps in the microclimate your body and gear are making; especially, when moisture pools and the wind hits it…
So, let’s see a company like Gore, ShowersPass, and others work on the glove/jacket cuff integration. It’s an area in outdoor gear left undeveloped and under designed.
Commenting on a poll we took, Dave Bartel said
Well, I layer a lot, but the outer shell for me almost 100% of the time I need gloves is my largely windproof (some venting) thin Castelli shell. Great elastic in the cuffs, so jacket almost always over gloves for me, unless I’m using full-on mitts. Gotta be about -15C for me to break those out.
Castelli hasn’t developed a system either for their excellent Gaba. Until then, it’s glove over OR under. On our ride together last weekend, Steve is wearing a Novara Headwind with cuff over and riding their new Novara Strada 50D.
Steve with his Headwind Jacket and Novara bike
While we’re focused on CX, there’s other bike racing going on, like the BMX World Champs and this edit from the UCI. The speed is remarkable.
In the 1930s, what are a couple of cyclists supposed to do but attach a skate to the fork of their safety bicycle? These days we’re riding fat bikes in the ice and snow, like we did earlier this year in Park City. Also read about the new rides we did in the new year and snow in Issue 8 our magazine.