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bicycle geeks

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  • Joshua Kinberg
    It was recently suggested on Slashdot.org that the bicycle is the ultimate geek transportation vehicle:
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 5, 2004
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      It was recently suggested on Slashdot.org that the bicycle is the
      ultimate geek transportation vehicle:
      http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/05/12/1718231 (read the
      comments)

      With that in mind, I would like to suggest that the Xtracycle is the
      perfect bicycle HDK (Hardware Development Kit). Just think what this
      guy could've done with an Xtracycle:
      http://microship.com/bike/behemoth/index.html

      And as a geek myself, I've been using the Xtracycle to develop my own
      bicycle invention, the bicycle ChalkWriter:
      http://a.parsons.edu/~jk/thesis/archives/video.html

      This chalk-printing bicycle is part of a project called "Bikes Against
      Bush." Here is the abstract:

      > “Bikes Against Bush” transforms ordinary bicycles into
      > Internet-enabled, tactical media
      > ‘weapons’ for non-violent, creative resistance to the 2004 Republican
      > National Convention in
      > NYC. “Bikes Against Bush” uses wireless bicycles that incorporate a
      > mechanical printing device
      > consisting of a series of spray-chalk aerosol cans. This mechanical
      > ChalkWriter can print text
      > messages from web users to the street surfaces on which the bike
      > cruises. Online users can
      > send messages to the bicycle in real-time through the project website,
      > bikesagainstbush.com,
      > and the cyclist can decide when and where to print them. When the
      > cyclist prints a message,
      > bikesagainstbush.com automatically updates a live map marking the
      > location of the message. A
      > webcam on the bike also documents this with a snapshot at the moment
      > of printing. The spraychalk
      > text message remains on the street for 4 to 5 days till the chalk
      > biodegrades. Thus, the goal
      > of “Bikes Against Bush” is to serve as an inspirational and working
      > model for alternative, creative
      > political resistance.

      Thank you, Xtracycle, for creating such a great product!

      Enjoy!

      --Josh
    • todd fahrner
      That made my morning, Joshua. I expect this will attract lots of attention. When I read of the Wi-Fi bike a couple weeks back, my first thought was Xtracycle
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 5, 2004
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        That made my morning, Joshua. I expect this will attract lots of
        attention. When I read of the Wi-Fi bike a couple weeks back, my first
        thought was "Xtracycle" - glad to see you're well aware. That Slashdot
        thread (or maybe another - can't find it now) also mentioned Paul's
        lights (http://tinyurl.com/37qng) as a bike geek lust item.

        Xtracycle as HDK: I've always seen it as a car-culture-jammer hardware
        platform. I'm especially interested in electric assist to make 'em even
        more viable as car killers, and I'm not alone (warning: extreme geekery
        ahead):

        - http://crystalyte.com/72%20volt.htm (scroll down a bit.)
        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/wizard/ (this by a fellow named
        David Hammond - dabbotthammond@...)
        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/joels.jpg (how long do you think
        before the panels make it to the snapdeck? this by Joel:
        JoelDDC@...)

        My own fiddling in the area started with this:

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/scale.html . That was more a
        proof-of-concept than a real solution. Deficiencies in the base bike
        and power system made me want to start over, so I did:

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/xt/xtravois.html

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/IMG_0565.jpg (got hills?)

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/IMG_0576.jpg (son is
        co-testpilot/ballast; i'm stay-at-home dad)

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/IMG_0582.JPG (san francisco +
        'lectric xtracycle = amsterdam)

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/ptreyes/IMG_0593.jpg (dismounted the
        motor when the 9lb battery gave out after flattening 44 miles of hills.
        "car camping" without the car.)

        - http://todd.cleverchimp.com/bike/cp/uefaum.jpg (father and son go
        camping on the Ultralight Electric Family Adventure Utility Moped. Note
        ortlieb motorcycle saddlebags. did you know you can use the snapdeck as
        a changing table?)

        Currently: completing more universal motor mount so it will fit regular
        Xtracycles. A product? Maybe. Let me know offlist if you want to hear
        about prototype testing/acquisition opportunities.
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