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Rock The Bike

Thanks to the Outdoor Program Crew and Willamette Valley Music Festival for an amazing week in Eugene!

 

Hundreds left the festival grounds and joined our LiveOnBike ride.
photo: Hansen

Huge thanks to the crew from the University of Oregon Outdoor Program, where Rock The Bike built a Biker Bar and related Pedal Powered Stage gear last week. Our work culminated in the all-day Willamette Valley Music Festival.

In many ways this was an ideal project for us, working hand in hand with local bike people, transferring knowledge of producing bike music events, and enjoying many fun rides throughout the week.

To get our gear to Oregon, we rented a full-size truck. Rolling past the refinery in Richmond on our way out of the Bay was a sober reminder of the carbon footprint of out-of-town gigs.

Pedal Power intern Jeff Hansen (hereforth “Hansen”) met us in Eugene, ready to work! Looks like he’s been taking care of himself since last summer.

Here is the project space we used, the Outdoor Program’s huge ‘barn.’ It’s under renovation right now and the crew will be pedal powering the opening party, June 4.

There was a very open community vibe throughout the week with many supporters and bike people coming through to pitch in here and there.
A reporter from the Eugene Register-Guard snapped this rad photo of Pastana, Hansen, OP’s Dave Villalobos, and yours truly, on El Arbol.

El Arbol served as a pedal powered shop radio at various points in the week.

El Arbol as Shop Box

Our daily commute to the Barn was 3 miles from our vacation rental house.

Alex truing up El Arbol’s rebuild wheel — 10 gauge spokes!

Jared May joined on Thursday night, adding his bass stylings to several short ‘tweener’ sets

El Arbol served as a two person generator and a functioning speaker that helped the pedalers feel ‘in the music.’

Functioning two-person generator and 650-watt speaker.
photo: Hansen.

Hansen pedaling a tall bike.

Northwest Community Credit Union turned out hundreds of smoothies with their first generation Fender Blender Pro.

 

At 4PM the festival audience got on their bikes and joined for a LiveOnBike performance by yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, with Jared May on bass.

The LiveOnBike ride was a highlight of the week.
photo: Hansen

Jared picked a few effects pedals to strap to the footrest area, and we cruised without incident on my new rear wheel — Thanks Alex! The ride the night before had taught us an important lesson about how the weight of the passenger affects the deployment of El Arbol’s roots. Through trial and error the night before Jared found out that the rear facing passenger needs to stand on the footrest, taking weight off the roots at the moment of deployment and retraction.

 

Jared May on bass.
photo: Hansen

Just two months ago, I was copying a tractor seat from IKEA to create the rear facing seat in a block of pink foam.

At the end of the ride, we set up in a plaza near the festival for El Arbol’s first street party!

For the headliners, CunninLynguists, we powered DJ Flip Flop’s turntables and monitors. It was a fairly easy load, only 80 watts, and we never let him down.

What follows are dimly lit photos that show the scale of the event, one of Rock The Bike’s largest in terms of crowd size.

In the shot below, the two dancers above the crowd are on the backs of OP’s Mundo 500’s. The bikes themselves are completely hidden.

Here are the two Mundo 500’s earlier in the evening when the crowd was much smaller.

Alex returning event promo the day after the festival.

Highlights from 2010 Earth Hour community party

Thanks to the fans, roadies, bands, Market Bar, and the city’s Neighborhood Empowerment Network.

4 people on El Arbol!

El Arbol had its Pedal Powered Stage debut. My cousins were crawling all over it. Here my 220 pound cousin Jonah and a girl pedal power stereo right while two other girls play on other parts of the tree.

Gear haul mission.

Five of us handled the late afternoon gear haul mission. Jeff and Geoff high fiving on 3rd. It was a pretty easy haul. No real hills.

Hauled the pedalometer on El Arbol.

Hauled the pedalometer on a newly fiberglassed El Arbol.

Just

Roadie and bandleader Justin Ancheta’s helped me with the flberglassing alot over the past week so that the Arbol would be in shape for the gig.

Stopped to pick up the band's gear.

Loading up Guella’s gear at Audio Box studio.

Rock The Bike roadies and Guella's lead singer on the way to the gig.
Rock The Bike roadies Kai, Geoff and Jeff, and Guella’s lead singer Dave on the way to the gig.

Setting up the gig at Market Bar.

Setting up the gig at Market Bar. Photo: Kai.

Guella rocking out.

Guella rocking out under pedal power. Two of our best generators, the Electric Mundo and the Electric Fender Blender Pro (at stage left) powered all of the band’s instruments, the mixer, one JBL PRX, and lighting.

Big Todo puppeteers.

Big ToDo puppeteers treated us to a bike rap!

Late night gear return mission.

Late night gear return mission. Aufdencamp surfs in the distance as Leif tows two Fender Blender Pros behind a Mundo.

Back ordering Dual Tube DLG systems until we can troubleshoot brightness issue

We noticed that the majority of recent customer service issues with the Down Low Glow involved our Dual Tube systems. The most common issue is:

“One tube is bright and the other is dim, even with a full battery.” or
“They take a long time to warm up”

We have backordered this item until we can troubleshoot the problem.

We suggest substituting a single-tube system, which offers excellent Side Visibility, street glow, and battery life. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to turn a Single into a Dual later, but you can add a second Single tube system, which gives you the option of lending one out to a friend or using them both on one bike.

Here’s a post that further explains the benefits of the Single Tube System: https://rockthebike.com/lights/downlowglow/singletube

Some of our dealers are still offering dual-tube systems. We encourage you to make sure these dealers still have stock in their dual tube systems, as we will not be able to fill drop-ship orders during the backorder period.

LiveOnBike footage from Feb 5th “Road to BMF” benefit

Thanks to Big Top Coop for posting this video summary of The Genie’s LiveOnBike performance, and of the gallery space at The Road To BMF benefit. Enjoy.

Lots of great shots of Rock The Bike products in action also: The Down Low Glow, the Biker Bar, Mundo Cargo Bikes (also used here to carry the camerawoman).

Thanks Bicycle Music Festival Fans, Crew, and Bands for a fantastic Road to BMF opener

 

In the true spirit of the Bicycle Music Festival, we pedal powered five bands, went LiveOnBike with a scratch guitarist, fed and quenched sweaty pedalers with tea, kombucha, pies hauled in by bike and a local street chef, and featured a contortionist, a unicyclist, a bootleg beer garden, and a quartet of breakdancers, putting us squarely on the Road to this year’s SF Bicycle Music Festival.

 

 

Mark Wessels serving up a delightful unicycle performance.


The Shotgun Wedding Quintet rocking after midnight.

We rolled these platforms in Donkey Kong style for a captivating Tara Quinn performance on contortion and aerial hoop. Photo: Kai

 

Photo: Kai

Genie Live on Bike on the Road to BMF from Adam Aufdencamp on Vimeo.

The Genie’s LiveOnBike performance. Afterwards I heard lots of great feedback on The Genie’s music, but one repeated request was to create a raised stage for our LiveOnBike performances. People in the back couldn’t see him.

 

Above: School kids rushed to the fence as the Genie sound checked the day before The Road To BMF.

 

Photo: Leif

 

 

After the LiveOnBike ride, we hauled the speakers off the Biker Bar and converted it to Pedal Power mode, sound checked Justin Ancheta, and got the party started. Above: Shotgun Wedding Quintet

 

Our Pedal Powered Stage gear included two Electric Mundos and the Biker Bar. We also brought out the Fender Blender Pro, hooking up the pedalers with smoothies.

 

For my performance I wanted to show both my passions, bike rapping and bicycle customizing, so I debuted my new tall bike, El Arbol. It’s still in progress, but the frame, drivetrain, and roots are complete after a year of hard work in the Complete Fab workshop with welder Jay Broemmel. I rode it into the room, deployed the roots, made rock signs, climbed down, and then pedal powered the lighting, which outlines the shape of the tree.

 

 

The night after, a few of us went for a 10 mile ride to the Richmond and back, deploying the roots numerous times as we wiggled through the Haight, and enjoying ample 360 visibility from the pedal powered lighting.

 

I wasn’t the only bicycle customizer showing off two-wheelers at the Road To BMF. Above: Jay Broemmel tightening the Dragon Bike’s clutch.

 

Many thanks to those who came out to enjoy this night of music, food, circus, and bike culture. Although we weren’t able to secure a liquor license because BMF’s non-profit status is still in progress with the San Francisco Parks Trust, we were able to raise hundreds for BMF.

 

Many thanks to Honest Tea, Bike Basket Pies, Sol Cocina, 21st Amendment Brewery, Cell Space, Big Top Cooperative, and all the performers.

 

Got photos, and video from the Road To BMF? Send us a link!

Repeating our warning to check your Down Low Glow system for signs of insulation breakdown and bare copper.

The battery output wire on the Down Low Glow has a certain amount of insulation. But with repeated flexing that insulation can break down.

Please look at the battery in the picture and compare it to yours. The black insulation has kinked and separated where it exits the pack, and you can see the white and red insulation of the inner two wires underneath. This is a result of repeated flexing of the wire. It is worse in cold places where the insulation can be brittle.

Our goal with this announcement is to keep you riding safely with the Down Low Glow, and to prevent needless short circuits. In our experience, most of these short circuits happen because the type of wiring damage shown above has escalated to the point where the white and red wire jackets have also crumbled, and bare copper is visible. If a customer continues using the battery at this point, the output wire may twist, bringing the two coppers into contact with eachother. When copper touches copper, a short can start at any time, but it still may take days or weeks of use before it happens, if it happens.

Short circuits are scary and can create lots of foul smoke and possibly a few seconds of a small open flame. They can melt surrounding plastic objects like nylon backpacks. You certainly wouldn’t want to hold one in your hand. But in our experience they are unlikely to start a fire. We shorted five batteries outside our workshop underneath a newspaper, and none of them ignited the newsprint. The sputtering, smoky part lasted about 2-3 minutes on average before the pack had dispensed most of its energy.

About a year ago we tried to recall batteries from a specific, problematic production period in 2008. But since this type of failure invoves wiring, and all Down Low Glows sold to date have wiring, we are asking that you simply check out your system to see if it has this type of wear.

We want to replace batteries that show this type of wear. If you have one that’s showing signs of wear, please either follow the DIY steps to prevent further wear on your battery, or send it back to us for replacement or service.

We worked with our battery manufacturer on this issue and are now selling batteries with a thermal fuse that prevents short circuits.  We’ve also beefed up the strain relief on the wire leaving the pack. Down Low Glow systems sold today are much less likely to fail in this manner.

We have a reputation for excellent customer service and for being generous with warranty periods. If there’s something bugging you about your Down Low Glow system, or anything else you bought from Rock The Bike, please let us know.

Are all Down Low Glow systems destined to fail in this manner eventually? No!

New units have better tapering strain relief.

Tapering strain relief.

All DLG systems can last if you follow these Dos and Don’ts:

Don’ts:

Yank the wires when disconnecting the battery from the charger or from the light tube(s). Yanking puts unneeded strain on the wiring.

Don’t carry or swing your Down Low Glow battery by the output wire:

Dos:

Do hold your battery pack by the pack itself:

Use two hands to pull the main power connector apart. Same for removing the battery from the charger:

DIY repair:

Pinch output wire as shown to prepare for taping step.

 
1. Pinch output wire as shown to prepare for taping step.

Wrap tape over one side of the loop.
2. Wrap tape over one side of the loop.

3. Wrap tape over the other side of the loop. The tape prevents yanks and tugs from creating strain on the wire where it exits the battery pack.

The mod shortens the battery’s output wire a bit.

Pastana Surfs Valencia as Rock The Bike crew roll from Bike Expo to nighttime gig at Baobab.

Of the three in our crew that can surf Mundos only Adam Pastana has the sense of foundation that allows him to dance while surfing. We were on our way from the SF Bike Expo to power the Genie and yours truly at Baobab Village last night.

My parents have told me to take this off our homepage and focus on selling the Down Low Glow.

I think it’s rolling street theater and an absolutely stunning breakthrough in rocking the bike (lowercase). It’s inspiring to me, so I hope that, despite the obvious safety considerations, it’s inspiring on some level, to you too.

Besides that, this brief video shows three of our most important products in action: firstly the Mundo, which we already knew was stiff as a tree trunk and danceably strong, is apparently a great handling surfing bike too. A bike this rigid and predictable is going to be reassuringly stable when you carrying a passenger or a serious load.

Adam’s not only surfing the Mundo, he’s also carrying 30 pounds on one side of the bike in a GoGetter bag while towing a 75 pound Electric Fender Blender Pro from one event to another. Two other bikers pass on the right, with the Down Low Glow providing excellent Side Visibility; one is towing a racing bike on a Mundo.

So you see, it’s not just a video, it’s how we put our gear to the test, week in, week out. If you want to buy your bike products from some place where they all drive to work and click the mouse all day, go right ahead. But if you’re looking for people who ride, who push the envelope, who break and fix things, people you can trust with gear recommendations, you’ve found the right place.

Welcome to Rock The Bike.

TreeHugger post confirms that at least 70 percent of accidents between bikes and cars are related to Side Visibility

A TreeHugger post confirms the importance of Side Visibility for cyclists, stating that 60% of accidents between bikes are cars are due to broadside impact alone (and broadside is only one of several accident types that can be considered “Side Visibility” types). This is consistent with what we’ve been saying about Side Visibility all along. Every rider has to make their own decision about safety — whether to wear a helmet and what type of lighting to use. But this evidence definitely supports the Side Visibility.

 

icycle safety accidents study broadside image

In fact, what they call a “broadside is far more common. They are defined as ” any crash when a bicyclist hits or is hit by a car on a perpendicular road.” Yokota at Cyclelicious clarifies it as “That’s when a motorist goes straight through an intersection even when there’s a bike right in front of him” 60.5% of the accidents were caused that way, compared to only 13% by the right hook.

I enjoyed seeing their black and white drawings of intersections, similar to the ones I made in SketchUp 4 years ago to show the Side Visibility benefit of the Down Low Glow :

Side visibility demonstration of the Down Low Glow bike lights

Check out an excerpt from a recent Down Low Glow testimonial on the topic of Side Visibility:

I have had many situations where a car has come to an intersection where they had a stop sign and I did not, at least half a block ahead of me, with no other traffic on the road to prevent the car from pulling out, and they waited for me to pass. This situation has happened many times since installing the Down Low Glow.

Thanks Fair Oaks St. and the Yes Men! for too much fun in San Francisco Halloween weekend.


Late night Haunted Hay Ride on the Biker Bar, cruising down 18th from the Castro to the District, with five European tourists along for the ride.


Rockin’ Halloween colors on our way to Fair Oaks St. with a Masked Masha rolling a Mundo with the Down Low Glow. At sunset, yeow!

Whoah. Amazing weekend. So much gratitude to the crew, the people of Fair Oaks St., and the Yes Men!


Kai and Pastana showed up Saturday afternoon to help mod the Biker Bar into a Haunted Hay Ride.


Tara had texted me earlier to “try 6th and Bryant as a source for $15 hay bales.” Then on the way there I realized she was sending me to the wholesale flower market. Thanks for the tip, T! I pulled in and immediately saw a bale in a stall. One cam strap on the Mundo. Back to the house.


We reduced the hay to useful cushion sizes and cam strapped Kai’s birdcage to the Biker Bar.


Kai bringing Pooh into the mix.

Do you wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Yes I wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Do you wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Yes I wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride?  When you wanna to go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Hmm, I dunno, how about now?


We kept the dancing going for the big kids for another couple hours.

Sunday Afternoon. Do it again.


Heading to the San Francisco debut of the Yes Men’s touching and hilarious “The Yes Men Fix The World”


Adam practicing one of the building block skills for no-hands surfing.


The lucky recipients of three $4 million Survivaballs.


Escorting the Survivaballs from the Roxie to the closest Chevron.


The Yes Men used the march as an opportunity to tout the
benefits of the Survivaball. Rock The Bike supplied the mobile P/A and
later the Pedal Powered Stage for the rally.


We turned up the dance music, including an exhuberant “I Will Survive.”


After the Chevron protest, we kept the afterparty going.
The Mundo 1000 has been holding it down as our most efficient pedal power bike.

If you’ve read this far and you’re local, you’ll probably want to join our SF Cruisers email list, and come out Monday night to Dia De Los Muertos with the Rock The Bike crew.

Biking Rules PSA competition, deadline Sept 28

I stumbled across this NYC-based competition to promote bike culture! $4,000/new Kona top prizes. RTB DLG or other video could work perfectly…

copied from http://bikingrules.org/PSA:

What is a Biking Rules PSA?

A Biking Rules PSA, or public service announcement, is a media message, moving or still, that will help promote bicycling and improve the public image of cyclists.

What kind of media qualifies as a PSA?

Still Images: including photography, poster art, graphic design, illustrations…

Videos: including narratives, documentaries, animations, and any other moving image. Entrants can submit both Do-It-Yourself Videos made with cell phones or consumer grade cameras or High-Definition Videos made with professional HD or HDV Cameras (see our Discount rental offer with DCTV!)
All Images and Videos must fit into one of two categories

1. Biking Rules Street Code
2. Why Biking Rules

How do you submit images or videos?

Online from this site! All images and videos must be submitted by September 28th to be considered for the prizes and the Biking Rules PSA Festival.

Who can submit?

ANYONE! The Biking Rules PSA Competition is open to media makers worldwide. Winning Submissions will be selected by a jury and screened at the Biking Rules Film Festival in New York City in November 2009.

Why submit?

You will be in the running for great prizes, including up to $4,000 and a new Kona bike. Submission is FREE and all entrants will receive a Cycling Commuter kit!*

Climbing up El Arbol for the first ride

Rode El Arbol down the block with a pvc pipe instead of pedals. by you.

My dad’s been suggesting that I test ride El Arbol as soon as possible before sinking the hours into custom fiberglass work on the trunk, roots and branches. Not a bad idea.   OK, so it didn’t have brakes or pedals, but at least now the frame has at lease now been heat treated.

The ride was great. Tall bike people know that a tall object can actually be easier to balance. The classic example: try balancing a ruler in your palm, then try a yard stick. As you can see in the photo below, El Arbol is about a foot taller than Jay’s tall bike, part of his BayView Space Agency fleet. This makes it easier to balance at slow speeds.

El Arbol scale comparison to Bayview Space Agency patrol bike. by you.

On my first coast, I mounted using the hood of a pickup truck and had Ydran and Adam give a running push in the slightly downhill direction on Channing. The ride is solid. No noticeable frame flex, and that’s before the added stiffness of the fiberglass trunk and branch. The balance was easy, even at slow speeds. I only one little adrenaline jolt on the whole test ride, when I took a roundabout and experienced rapid decellaration. By the end I was doing my own running starts and dismounts in both the uphill and downhill directions. It was Adam’s idea to jam some pipe in the captain’s bottom bracket. That was hope stepped up and down onto the frame, as you can see above.

I had been a bit concerned that the small wheels that originally came with the A2B would make the ride twitchy or sluggish, but it was neither. The traction was great, ans slow speed manuevers felt smooth.

I knew that Jay was leaving for his honeymoon yesterday, and that Tuesday would be our last work session. We welded in the cable management for the root-deployment system. I’ll post more photos soon.

Roots of El Arbol serving their role in stabilizing the rig for welding. by you.

On Wednesday I borrowed a truck to get the frame over to Garner Heat Treating in Oakand. The guys were totally pro and enthusiastic about the project.

El Arbol frame ready to go in the oven at Garner Heat Treating, Oakland. by you.

Apparently there are two ways to restore strength to an aluminum frame after it’s been welded. The more involved one heats the frame to within 30 degrees of liquid, which leaves the frame soft and succeptible to bending under its own weight. Typically at this point bike builders put the frame back in a jig to check alignment. Because El Arbol is a giant frame and a one off, there’s no jig. So we chose the other method, which brings up the frame only to about 300-400 degrees. This method stress relieves the welds but not to the full ‘T6’ strength of the aluminum. With the average wall thickness of El Arbol’s frame being much greater than that of say a Cannondale, I’m not too worried about the strength being compromised.

After bringing the frame back to Rock The Bike, I waited till about 6 last night before ditching the computer and throwing parts back on it. We tied the roots against the frame, since the deployment system isn’t ready yet, and I through an Envy Green Down Low Glow on the bottom tube. Lots of props from the neighborhood, a good omen!

Welcome, young Jedi

This is what happens when people get the passion for a new way of transportation. A way that challenges you and inspires others. This is what happens when you really want a bar table.

Photo:Band Of Bicycles
Rides and Events: Band Of Bicycles

Service Bulletin for Down Low Glow systems sold in late 2008, early ’09.

Down Low Glow systems made by Rock the Bike in October 2008 through January 2009 may have a flaw that can cause premature wear and, in the worst case scenario, a battery short circuit.

How do I know if my DLG unit has the problem?

There are two related but distinct problems. Either of them is grounds for partipicating in the recall. If your DLG system has either of these problems, we’d prefer to fix it and return it to you. You’ll be more likely to enjoy using it for its entire working life.

Problem 1: Stiff power connector.

Test: It requires more than a casual push / pull to plug and unplug your Down Low Glow battery.

Effect: The stiff power connector makes it more likely that you’ll yank the wire that leads to the battery.

Solutions:

  1. Send your light tubes back and let us fix it. See instructions at the bottom of the page.
  2. Change your technique: Use a twisting technique as you undo the power connector, rather than a direct pull.
  3. Use a drop of lube. Boeshield, TriFlow, even chain lube can make this connector feel significantly easier to do and undo.
  4. Do the fix yourself: Expand the inner bore of the male power connector. You can do this at home if you have an index of numbered drill bits. Use the non-drilling side of the bit: First #39, then #38. Insert the male connector (the one on the light tubes) as far as it will go. The connector should now have a much easier push / pull force.
  5. Upgrade to the waterproof pushbutton switch for $18. Shown below, the waterproof pushbutton switch allows you to turn the Down Low Glow on and off without physically disconnecting the power connector. This is faster, can be done with one hand, and puts less strain on the connector.

Waterproof DLG Switch
Waterproof DLG Switch

Problem 2: Lack of proper strain relief on the power cable exiting the battery pack.

Example of strain relief damage on Down Low Glow battery's output wire.Example of strain relief damage on Down Low Glow battery’s output wire.

Examples of batteries before, during, and after the affected period.
Examples of batteries before, during, and after the affected period.

This problem was excacerbated when our manufacturer switched from a flexible waterproofing adhesive to a harder, more brittle adhesive.

Test: Your battery may have a bead of sealant around the top and the bottom that is bluish / purplish in color and slightly filmy in its translucency, as shown in the picture. In the photo above, the battery with the rubberband is the one that has this adhesive. Note that the battery on the left has a less bulky sealing adhesive that appears black. We have seen fewer failures on batteries that use the flexible adhesive. The battery on the right has had our fix applied — a piece of flexible tubing that adds strain relief where the power cable leaves the battery.

Effect: Over time, and especially in cold weather, the adhesive can kink and damage the wire. The black insulation can fail, exposing the inner wires, which have their own insulation. In the worst case, the insulation of the inner wires can fail as well, exposing the copper conductors.

Action:

Examine your battery to see if wire damage has already occurred at the point where the wire exits the battery. If so, you would see the black wire jacket either crumbling or split, and you may see the white and red insulation of the inner wires. If you are able to see any bare copper wire when you inspect this area, you must take extra care when packing the battery for shipment to eliminate the chance of a short circuit in transit. If you are concerned it may be a shipping hazard, please let us know, so that we can provide alternate instructions.

If it’s starting to show damage, get it fixed.

  1. Send it back. Skip to the bottom and follow the instructions to participate in the recall.
  2. Do the fix yourself. We use a short piece (about 1 inch long) of flexible 1/4″ vinyl tubing to strain relief the wire as it exits the battery. Cut a slit the tubing, turning it into a sleeve that you can slide down the wire. Heat up the area with a hair dryer or heat gun. Push the tubing down past the glue line — half in and half out. Reseal the are with a flexible adhesive such as Plumber’s Goop.

If your battery is showing minimal damage or none at all, please take the following preventative action now to reduce yanks on the output wire:

Pinch output wire as shown to prepare for taping step.
1. Pinch output wire as shown to prepare for taping step.

Wrap tape over one side of the loop.
2. Wrap tape over one side of the loop.

3. Wrap tape over the other side of the loop. The tape prevents yanks and tugs from creating strain on the wire where it exits the battery pack.

The mod shortens the battery’s output wire a bit.

OK, I have decided to let you fix my Down Low Glow. What should I do now?

If your Down Low Glow system has either of these issues above, please use the contact page and select “Winter 2008-09 Down Low Glow Recall” as the topic. Please indicate what you will be returning. For example:

“Hi Rock the Bike,

I would like to participate in the recall. I checked and my battery has the adhesive shown on the recall page. Also, my power connector is too stiff. I will be returning my light tubes and battery.

Thanks,

Rob”

Concept invention in blog echoes the need to define one’s space on the road.

Bike light concept echoes the need to define one's space on the road.

Bike light concept echoes the need to define one’s space on the road.

Bloggers at Altitude have beautifully illustrated a concept for “Light Lane,” a bike light of the future, one that helps cyclists define their space on the road. This has been one of the goals of the Down Low Glow from day one.

The concept light uses a laser to project the lines of a non-existant bike lane on the road around you, along with a clever bike symbol behind you. Meanwhile, the Down Low Glow, which is not a concept, uses a fluorescent light source to project a diffuse cloud on the road, as seen below. I  don’t know the relative efficiency of lasers vs.fluorescent lamps, or whether the photo of the Light Lane, shown above, is real is real or a composite created in Photoshop.

Down Low Glow throughs light on the road around the bicycle, defining your space in traffic.

Tandem Action

Last nights configuration.

A little green under the deck to make the spinning rear wheel stand out. It doesn’t show so great in pics, but it was pretty cool. I’m ditching the serfas taillights for a dual red tube of dlg. Talk about a killer taillight – check that swath of light

I have the blue lights angled a little more toward the garage here(which would be the car side of the bike).

Feeling of comfort and coolness

As I rolled thru the busy park at night. I had my DLG green envy on. The “Oh look at that light”, “Cool Light” and where did you get that light? shouts and questions were coming from all over the park as I rode along. DLG is the major piece of equipment that raises attention for cyclists. I have yet to use them and not get into conversations with people about my DLG. I tell them they are handcrafted in San Francisco, and it seems to make them appear even more mysterious. It just adds to the DLG mystique I guess. Riding at night is way more comfortable than during the day because of the DLG system. I hear cars leaving the lane or at least giving me way more space than sans a DLG. So yes I feel they are worth it. The only downside is that if your are a hurry, the conversations you get into will slow you down. It is great because slowing down and being part of the community is a lot better than speeding through and never knowing who you live with. Peaceful riding, Carl