Good article in the New York Times today on safety-related bike gadgets (Click HERE to read the entire article). While I have begun to lose faith in the hacks who do their Op-Ed pieces, and can see some blatant intellectual dishonesty in much of their current reporting, they have actually provided some pretty good coverage of biking and bike-related topics of late. In this regard, I applaud their blatant pandering to Brooklyn hipsters. Keep it up New York Times! I also liked the graphic they used to demonstrate the various products discussed:
Not going to re-hash the entire article here, but I was definitely intrigued by the horn that mimics a car horn (and matches its decibels) and agreed with the logic that the only way to get the attention of many driveists is to put them in fear of their own lives - which hearing a sudden car horn blast can accomplish in a safe manner.
Even more interesting, though, was the "X-Fire" rear safety light. About six posts ago, I dubiously wrote about a laser light designed to project the image of a bike out in front of the rider (Click HERE to re-visit that post):
I'm still not convinced that projecting a laser image out in front of a bike will be any more effective than a bright headlight. Why not have cars do the same thing if it's such a good idea?
The X-Fire, though, attacks a much greater danger -- those multi-ton death machines approaching from behind at night. It's designed to be affixed to the rear of the bike, and (instead of a cute picture) it projects what appears to be a bright, red, bike lane directly behind the path of your bike:
Now THIS is cool! Even bad driveists are somewhat conditioned to respect bike lanes (at least when they're not parked in them). This, to me, seems like a great way to subconsciously get driveists to both notice you, and provide a little leeway (at least 3 feet in California!).
This is what the product looks like:
Pretty similar to a standard rear light. And - BEST of all - it doesn't come with the ridiculous $200 price-tag of the "Blaze." It goes for a mere $40 -- about what you might spend for a good light anyway. I'm thinking that this Bikeist might just need to go out and get one of these babies.
I'll let you know how it works . . .