There’s a good post over at MetaFilter asking about using GPS on bikes. The original poster was interested in a GPS solution to fight theft (LoJack on two wheels), which is still pretty impractical.
But the post does mention some interesting applications and products. There’s the Garmin Edge 305, a GPS with cycle computer and heart rate monitor in a unit small enough to strap to your stem (or its little brother, the no-heart rate Edge 205).
Addressing the original question, I found this article at Popular Science about using mologogo and a prepaid cell phone. I’m just not sure how you could effectively hide the cell so it doesn’t invite the theft the original poster was trying to prevent.
The New York Times looks at the high-end bike market, especially in Manhattan.
The article focuses on boutique custom-bike shops, one (Signature Cycles) whose fitting studio is open by appointment only.
The current top end of the top end, according to the times, is about $23,000 for a carbon time-trial bike sold at Signature Cycles that comes with handmade German wheels at $5,500 a set. Judging from the Signature site, above, I’m guessing that’s a Seven Diamas, but who is making $5,500 wheelsets? Even the pro-level Corimas, Zipps, and Rolfs seem to run circa $900/wheel or less.
The lead is a woman who bought a $9,000 bike as she neared 39 so she could learn to ride. First question: Who doesn’t learn to ride a bike as a kid? Second question: Isn’t that a beautiful leap of faith?
The Hugger ethic even makes an appearance:
Dr. Levine bristled slightly when it was suggested that people like him may be a little, um, obsessed with what is, after all, just a bicycle. You do feel a connection with it, he said. But I don’t think anyone in our group takes it to a psychotic, unreasonable extent. He paused. But my wife might disagree with that.