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HUMOR: Some Useful Cycling Devices
To some people, a bicycle "computer" is a high-tech device; however, a new wave of inventions is coming along that will finally revolutionize cycling and make it enjoyable.


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Some Useful Cycling Devices

As a touring cyclist, I am well acquainted with the fact that almost all cycling advice and almost all cycling equipment is made for the high-tech, high-speed, ultra-light, streamlined cyclist. We hear of the need for cyclometers, cadence monitors, altimeters, heart-rate monitors, and combination devices that can record and print back the entire trip. But did you know that touring cyclists have their own high-tech devices? Here are some of them:

The Realometer was invented by H. Thoreau (a former pencil manufacturer) and is designed to measure the truth behind appearances. In 1968, Postman and Weingartner called this "an instant, built-in, crap detector." This device is useful for measuring the truths of statements such as the following: "This back road here's too dangerous, but that main road over there is very safe." "My dog snarls, but he don't bite." "It's downhill the rest of the way." "Turn left at the second light, go several blocks, and turn right. You can't miss it."

Just as you can conveniently record your speed, cadence, altitude, and resting, pacing, climbing, and maximum heart rates, now, with the Meteorological Max Kit, you can record all the meteorological data at the same time, maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation, barometric pressure, and solar intensity. The company will even sell a program to allow you to statistically correlate all these events. Does a hot sun really slow you down or speed you up?

The Sunrise, Sunset, and Rainbow Recorder was designed to measure and record daylight phenomena the cadence-conscious cyclist can now without guilt ignore. The same company produces a Moonbeam, Starlight, and Falling-Star Recorder that measures and records evening phenomena the same way. Soon to be marketed is a wild animal counter for the Nature lover as well. This last device will keep up with the individual species for you, so you don't have to bother. It even has a roadkill switch allowing you the option of counting or not counting these animals (some people consider counting roadkill to be cheating; with others, that's all they've got).

The Automatic Panorama Device detects any scenes that could be described as beautiful, scenic, or panoramic. This device has three switchable options: Alarm sets off a buzzer, so you can lift your eyes off the cyclometer and glance around; Record does not disturb you, but makes a record of the occurrence for a later trip report; Camera will work with an attached wide-angle camera or video recorder to capture the scene without disturbing your concentration.

The Blood, Guts, and Awful Flames Detector will set off a loud buzzer whenever you near a fatal traffic wreck, burning gasoline truck, or spilled train tank car. This was the one device I found to be unsatisfactory. I found I could pass two or three cadavers before it would finally go off. Definitely, the device needs to work before you get to the accident.

The Instant Poetic Inspiration Device is not as instant as the makers claim. Before it will produce a single poem, you have to hook it up to a PC or a Mac, and you must have a 233 processor and 32 megabytes of RAM. Nonetheless, the device did produce poetry that was judged as good and as understandable as anyone else's and did so without requiring one moment's reflection. [Note: the software in this device has recently been updated to make it compatable with Windows 98 and Windows 2000; it now requires a Pentium III and 128 megabytes of RAM and works nearly as well as it did before; a Macintosh version is no longer available.]

The final device is the Prevaricator. Certainly, no device was ever needed more by a cyclist. This device helps you expand your mind set, so you are equal to cyclists who are older and more experienced than you. If one says, "I have ridden to the top of Mt. Evans (14,100 ft.) in the summer," you can reply, "Well, I have ridden to the top of Mt. McKinley (20,300 ft.) in the winter," and what is he going to say to top that?


SYMMETRISPOKES!  A revolutionary new spoke design makes spoke breakage a thing of the past!

Goofy Bicycle Gimmicks & Gadgets  Can't figure out your gears? Maybe you need a GearTel!

Sheldon Brown's Geomagnetic BoosterŪ  Use the Earth's magnetic field to enhance your speed!

Postings by Carapace Completed Umber  Postings by Sheldon's alter-ego.

POWerwheels Are your spokes holding you back? Then you need new POWerwheels!

Sheldon Brown's Commercial Products  These products include: Superleggero Bearing Balls, Bayonetz (r), POWerwheels, and the Geomagnetic Booster.

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