A question for any city / street bike lane riders on the forum.........

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by handlebars, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. handlebars

    handlebars New Member

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    Firstly I am long time reader and follower of the forum and I shamelessly admit I registered to start this thread but I do hope to contribute to the forum as a bike fan from here on also.

    So if you'll pardon me......

    Can I ask any city / street cyclists here the following:

    I have designed and patented a very simple idea for for a device that fits onto the rear of your bike (anywhere) which is
    almost like a parking sensor in the rear of your car.

    It is designed with cycling safety in mind.

    Basically the premise is that when you are riding to work/into town etc. on a narrow bike lane (let's face it many are inadequate and not with our best interests / safety in mind) and you get someone up behind you trying to pass, it can be super dangerous,
    1. because you can't hear him/her coming 2. because there are cars/buses/vans/trucks whizzing by within inches almost at times
    and 3. if you were to swerve for any reason to avoid a pothole or obstacle in your path or puddle of water etc. you could cause a collision with the person passing.

    Now some clever folk wear little rear view mirrors on their helmets but then not everyone wears helmets, it's not compulsory by law in most countries I know of. And then you have the people who just wouldn't anyway because it doesn't look cool or whatever.

    I came up with this idea after I myself got involved in a minor road collision as a result of straying ever so slightly into someones path unknowingly and both of us ended up on a heap and fortunately not underneath the wheels of a passing car.

    So fundamentally my idea is for a warning system, when another bike comes within 5-10 metres of yours my device (compact/smaller than a common rear bike light/can fit to any part of the frame or rear) sends a signal to a led displayer which is
    on your handlebars, again small, lightweight, but sturdy, which indicates to the rider that you have someone on your tail - :)
    for want of a better phrase.

    Feel free to rubbish it and tell me I'm nuts but I am just putting it out there, I believe it could be a very important device and could help save accidents and perhaps even lives.

    Also the device may also emit a beeping sound if you so desire. You get people listening to ipods now (crazy I know) on their bikes
    who are in their own world, if they won't wear a helmet at least they might fit a small and funky device which can at least make them aware that there are other cyclists in proximity before they make a manouevre.

    Everyone cycles, children, teenagers, professional adults, OAPS, and within those groups you get people moving at different speeds and in different manners with their own interpretation of how they should behave on their bike.

    I feel if my product idea was a success and was commonly used it would be used by people of all age groups.

    I don't have pictures to display as I am still working on finalising my prototype and I am sure you will have questions as to how it might work and the possible problems it might encounter but suffice to say I have been working on this for some time and trust me when I say I wouldn't be here proposing it to you if I didn't think it could be done.


    So I would really appreciate some feedback if anyone has a moment to spare- do you think this is a good idea?

    If you could add to it or modify it what would you suggest?

    Fundamentally the idea is to aid cyclists awareness of those around them in a simplistic and none too distracting way.

    Thank you for reading. :)
     
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  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    ya, make it maybe as a smartphone app ?
     
  3. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    If using a mirror is simple cheap and effective, but underutilized, why would people be more apt to use a more complicated, expensive device?

    Are other cyclists overtaking really a significant hazard?
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    I can see what you are trying to do, race cars and motor bikes in competitions like the Dakar (and the Baha races?) have had proximity alert systems for years. And there's a definite possibility that it would have some advantages over a mirror. The biggest challenge I think, is: will it be able to sort out the interesting events from the unimportant events well enough? That may turn out to be a fairly difficult question. It's not distance alone, along my commute there are several stretches where riders will naturally bunch up and ride in close formation for a while. If that unit would keep going off then, it'd annoy and lose its value. If I had to turn it off manually, I might not remember to turn it back on when I'm through the bottleneck. It's not rat-of-approach alone either, as someone might come charging like a bat out of hell, and then veer off just outside my "zone of interest" and become a non-issue entirely. And it'd have to be able to ignore someone coming from the front, and and entering your zone of interest. Tricky, and honestly, I can't see how you'd be able to pull it off within reasonable amounts of money - at least not for an urban commute. But for a less intense traffic situation-sure. I have some experience in a similar area, so I'd be happy to discuss further details with you.
     
  5. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    They can certainly be scary enough, when someone unnoticed with a 10 MPH speed advantage buzzes your elbow within feet of heavy traffic. I've seen a guy snagging a flapping coat at speed once, and it was not a happy ending.
     
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