Do you have a locking style? How you lock the bike may affect how you Rock the Bike. Here’s one that caught my eye recently:
Bike locked to trash can in front of Metreon
Close-up bike on trash can.: Guess he’s not worried about the paint job.
Earth date: 5 October 2006 14:45 Hours.
Location: Fremont, California
The Pope, Daniel and I got to JMT (Juan More Taco) about 620 to chow down on some great Juanchos Nachos, Juan Dogs and a Juan Big Quesadilla.
I saw the Muscle Car guy again! This time in down town San Francisco. I heard him first about 3 blocks away. I thought it was a union protest or something. Then as I got closer I heard “We are at War!” and I knew it was him, and there he was! Is this is full time job? It was a Monday morning… Weird..read more
I got a call from a customer named Frank who wanted to see the Down Low Glow in person before buying. We made an appointment to do so at my home office in the Mission while he was on break from work.
At 10:30 this morning, Frank arrived, in a DPW Street Cleaning truck. This is what I saw when I opened the door.
Frank is a street sweeper who commutes to his job from the East Bay on BART and bike. He rides a basic, heavy full suspension mountain bike. I’m pretty sure the Down Low Glow he bought today cost more than the bike he rides! Frank said he saw someone rocking the Down Low Glow on Valencia st. and flagged him down to find out about the lights.
I installed the single tube version installed on his bike in about 3 minutes. Thanks Frank — hope to see you on the street soon.read more
I went to Napa on the 9/11 5th anniversary to work with framebuilder Curtis Inglis. On the way back, Ed and I were picking up some snacks at Safeway when this guy started broadcasting a tape of Michael Savage through a megaphone strapped to the hood of his muscle car.
When we walked up to ask him about what he was playing, he was holding the mouthpiece of the megaphone up a boombox. The tape he was playing was vitriolic “Close the borders!” stuff.
I appreciated the irony of the moment, because I had been working with Curtis on frames for Soul Cycles and this car was like, this guy’s Soul Cycle. Except instead of playing Marvin Gaye, he was playing right wing radio. And it had no bass.
Apparently, it’s not uncommon in Jamaica to see guys rolling around with sound systems on their tricycles, and not only that.
Peter Eland of Velovision Magazine emailed me this photo of a sound system, taken at the Eurobike trade show a few weeks ago.
The custom fiberglass work is very clean, with the rounded corners, and trap doors. I also like the choice of speakers — the aluminum cones look very sleek and integrate well with the white cabinet. The design for the top surface is simple and looks very stable.
Is it stable enough for the needle on that turntable to stay in the groove out on the street? Or does it only work on the carpeted halls of the trade show? I’m very curious. Perhaps DJ Jojo can tell us if it’s possible to roll while turntabling. If you set the needle to the heaviest setting, perhaps?
Adding any instrument to a cruiser ride is a great way to take the creative potential higher. The turntable may not be the most practical choice, but since when is Soul Cycling about practicality? The iPod is practical, but isn’t itself very interactive.
This sound system also gives us a chance to talk about one of the hardest challenges in bicycle audio: form vs. function. The bicycle is such a beautiful, iconic form. As a designer, I want to compliment it, accentuate it, emulate its simplicity. But the demands of audio are such that we need large speaker cabinets in order to achieve good bass.
Bass is so critical to feeling the music in your body, which makes you want to move and dance. It makes you feel like you’re cruising ‘in the music’, not listening to music on your bike.
Reproducing good bass requires a resonating chamber. I can’t tell you how big because it depends on the size of the woofers you use and their electomagnetic properties. I use the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook as a guide. What makes this challenge harder is that bass gets lost in the street because you don’t have the walls of a room to reinforce it. It’s not enough to not scrimp on bass; you have to overcompensate.
Ultimately, this sound system, despite its professional execution, looks fairly blocky. Sometimes this is unavoidable, particularly if you want to have a powerful system. I think these guys could have done a little better to avoid their sound system dominating the bike. But maybe that’s not the aesthetic they were going for.