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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-23-09, 12:06 PM   #1
jastastic
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Biking Community Tool

I saw this concept design that was developed to increase biking community and inspire more people to bike. I thought it was pretty interesting.

http://gelardi.com/portfolio/contrail/

I was also thinking that the chalk could help with traction, like in rock climbing? I don't know, maybe it'll get all gross and gummy in the rain.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:07 PM   #2
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how does it work?
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Old 03-23-09, 01:14 PM   #3
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I think bikesnobNYC noticed this a while back. Something is attached to the seat tube, if I remember correctly, and as the tire passes over or through it, the tire is covered in chalk dust. It's a nifty gadget, but I think the makers or marketers are kidding themselves if they think it's going to reclaim the roads for bikes or get more people riding. They aren't, however, kidding themselves if they think other people will think this and buy them. I think.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:55 PM   #4
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how exactly would leaving lines of chalk all over the streets increase community?
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Old 03-23-09, 02:16 PM   #5
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i could see lots of 6 year old girls with front baskets and streamers on the handlebars, going for that
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Old 03-23-09, 02:46 PM   #6
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i think this wold make your bike and legs messy. if your tire is rubbing in chalk, you are going to get covered in chalk dust.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:51 PM   #7
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I'd ride it if you promised not to laugh
edit: only if free
also, jackass on the yellow bike needs to put her helmet on. Why carry it if you're not going to wear it?

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Old 03-23-09, 03:01 PM   #8
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One more colorful accessory to add to my vibrant and perfectly matching tarck bike.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:19 PM   #9
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The idea is a fun reminder to encourage biking in a non-detrimental, safety promoting, visually stimulating way.

I think you guys are taking yourselves way to seriously to put something down with such good intents. If you think the items design is non-functional that's one thing, but to cast it aside as a 'hipster accessory' is a little excessive (especially because this hasn't been created yet). Why not encourage the idea with productive criticism? Instead you are trying to crush something that's trying to make your life safer and filled with bike friends?
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Old 03-23-09, 03:21 PM   #10
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i would be pretty pissed if some dork got chalk all over my tires.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:23 PM   #11
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also, I can't imagine how any city would allow these devices when you consider that people don't just ride on the road. There are a lot of urban cyclists in my town who cruise in and out of traffic, and ride on the sidewalk or across public property (park paths, hike and bike paths, etc)

I just imagine people starting to ***** when there are random colorful stripes all over the place.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:26 PM   #12
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I fail to see why dumping chalk on the ground is going to promote community, safety, and inspiration. does putting baseball cards in your spokes for the "chk-chk-chk-chk" sound advance the cause of carbon-footprint awareness and bring families together too?
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Old 03-23-09, 04:50 PM   #13
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I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm getting tired of what seems to be a new trend: marketing each new, and however nifty or interesting, significantly useless product as a piece of art, activism, or culture. These words and ideas are thrown around with too much abandon and I call bull****. It's a messy and superfluous albeit charming toy that, presumably, will be sold to make money and for no other reason. If that had been the thrust of the presentation, I'd have no problem with it.

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Old 03-23-09, 05:15 PM   #14
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Seems fun. Not sure what a layer of chalk would do to your rear traction (if anything) but it seems like a fun little idea.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:13 PM   #15
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yeah, definitely fun.
but they gotta drop the pretense about community building and inspiring others to ride.
that's just silly.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:50 PM   #16
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yeah, definitely fun.
but they gotta drop the pretense about community building and inspiring others to ride.
that's just silly.
+1.

Two other possible applications I could see:

1. City planners buying up a few hundred of these to give them out to bike commuters as a way of doing a bit of research on what routes will benefit the most from bike lanes or other cycling facilities.

2. Artistic cycling enthusiasts using them to add another visual element to the routine.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:08 PM   #17
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such open minds you lot are.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:04 AM   #18
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what's there to be "open" about?

and if you need an "open mind" to appreciate this chalk thing's ability to build communities, then it must not be very effective at achieving it's stated purpose of bringing the world together.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm getting tired of what seems to be a new trend: marketing each new, and however nifty or interesting, significantly useless product as a piece of art, activism, or culture. These words and ideas are thrown around with too much abandon and I call bull****. It's a messy and superfluous albeit charming toy that, presumably, will be sold to make money and for no other reason. If that had been the thrust of the presentation, I'd have no problem with it.
A nod to you, good sir.

Take a gander at some of the other concepts from this company. These people are silly geese.

Pissing in a urinal that has a fake tree trunk moulded into it has no effect on my pissing expirience. I could be just as happy leaking onto the floor (or into a hooker's mouth, TEE HEE).

Their toilet, showerhead, and landmine detector / marking device are kind of neat. I'll give them that.

A crystal hammer / vase is stupid and pointless. Art my ass.

I do think the chalk thing is interesting and could be a fun toy, but there's no way it will do much help to promote cycling in the same vein that a bunch of tire tracks in the dirt promote whatever vehicle they may have come from.

Last edited by croscoe; 03-24-09 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Fixed me words.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:58 AM   #20
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Yeah, i agree that it's not a serious marketable product. Designers have a tendency to word their work like it's the savior of the human race (As a designer myself, I should know). But I do appreciate it from a data visualization and mapping point.
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Old 03-24-09, 03:05 AM   #21
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There is no reason NOT to see this as a biking community tool (as it is advertised and explained at least). It DOES provide a new and vibrant means to visually perceive the presence of bikers in a specific area (biking community) if used as suggested. Seeing chalk about town could only serve to provide a means for participatory bikers to recognize and appreciate each others shared involvement in such an activity. It's understandably just another means of making cycling fun (like riding a fixed hub bicycle on city streets) and it does so in such a way as to involve members of the bicycling community. Many aspects of cycling are commercial (such as purchasing your bike in the first place) but I can't imagine this excluding it from positive recognition. It's definitely an act of preference but I see no reason it should be put down with such fervency... that's all.
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Old 03-24-09, 04:56 AM   #22
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and its all for nothing because THEY'RE NOT EVEN FOR SALE. womp..

p.s. i want one.
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Old 03-24-09, 06:53 AM   #23
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It's the self-important presentation I don't like.

You may be right, and it will be a great tool to raise awareness about cycling. On the other hand, it may just as easily have people taking us less seriously by making us all look like a bunch of kids with toys strapped to our bikes drawing chalk patterns on the road. I think the goal in bike activism is to secure our place on the roads as vehicles driven by responsible individuals, and this doesn't really seem like it will. In my humble opinion, the best way to do that, barring actual political activism, is to be out on the roads in greater numbers, acting like adults.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:35 AM   #24
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I personally don't get the purpose. How would chalk lines in the street promote bike use? It seems like it would just be another way for non-cyclists to just make fun of the bike community. I feel like there are better tools to better the community, not just making a bunch of chalk lines around.

The idea is okay, but the practicality of it all makes it useless.
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Old 03-24-09, 10:09 AM   #25
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seems pretty clear how this would work as a tool to promote the cycling community. i dont much like the idea of marketing to the fad either though.

the chalk lines will inform other bikers of commonly ridden paths, which could be really funny when you get the trick riders shredding it up in urban settings just laying chalk down all over different **** haha.

also, it could potentially serve as a non-official bike path. if a driver sees chalk on the road, they could be made more aware of the fact that riders use that road often, and therefore raise the drivers awareness of potential riders sharing the road.

on the other hand, this totally destroys the ability of a bike to be used as a get away vehicle.

edit: its obviously not for everyone, but i could see kids having fun with it at the very least.

another pro: think sky writing, but on the street!

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