During a cycling holiday in Cornwall, graphic designer Nick Hand wondered how long it would take to cycle right around the British coast and back to the same point. So a year later he did just that, setting off on a 5,000 mile adventure, and interviewing some of the fascinating folk he met, from a boat builder to a tea taster. A year later he did a similar trip round Ireland and all the interviews live on his website as compelling digital stories but now 20 of them have been brought together in a new book, Conversations on the Coast.
PumpTire, the bike tire that auto-inflates as you ride.
The PumpTire system is so simple it's pretty surprising something like this isn't the norm. It uses a valve along with a special inner tube, working in conjunction, to tell when your tires need a little more air let in and when they're full. That's really all it is — no embedded motor or anything fancy. And nothing that'll have you using your bike any differently.
Imagine taking your bicycle out of the garage and never having to fill up the tires or even check the pressure. Or imagine yourself being able to change your tire pressure on-the-fly with a simple adjustment from the handlebars.
More information, and support it on KickStarter.
the 'sobi' social bicyle system makes use of existing infrastructure and GPS-enabled bikes for a dynamic managed bikeshare centered around city bikes featuring GPS-enabled electronic lockboxes. utilizing the existing infrastructure of urban and tourist destinations, in conjunction with mobile networking, to create a dynamically managed bikeshare system. expecting the delivery of the first 60 prototype bicycles this october, founder ryan rzepecki plans to have a complete system ready for implementation in 2012.
the 'sobi' team is currently seeking kickstarter funding, where interested readers can also learn more about the concept.'we have smart bikes, not smart racks,' rzepecki explains: 'our lock works with regular bike racks and does not rely on expensive kiosks and docking stations.' the innovative model has a cost-per-bike of less than one third of that of a standard station-based system. 'sobi' bikes are primarily based in central areas designated as system hubs, but users are permitted to lock and leave their bicycles anywhere within the system zone. incentive-based demand management puts the task of inventory control onto users: users who leave bikes anywhere outside a hub are charged a fee, and a user who returns that bike to a system hub earns the equivalent amount in credit. the GPS in the devices, as well as their identifiable frame, reduces the risk of theft.each bicycle in the fleet is monitored via a lockbox that has been installed onto its seat tubes. the box is built with an on-board computer and GPS-enabled lock, and data is communicated to and from the 'sobi' server. the box doubles as a carry basket, and features retro-reflective paint and automatically engaged LED rear lights. the 'sobi' team has also designed its own custom bike frame, featuring an adjustable, non-removable seat and front carry basket. the lights and onboard electronics are kept charged via a photovoltaic panel installed on the back lockbox panel.
users register for the 'sobi' system online via computer or smartphone application, or at dedicated street kiosks or subway ticket vending machines. once the account has been created, a user can access a bicycle by entering their PIN number into the keypad on the bike's lockbox, or by sending a request via text message, phone call, or through the smartphone app. the application also offers an interface for searching for nearby bikes, marking those that are available as well as those that need to be returned to a hub, earning him credit.
the user is charged based on the amount of time he/she uses the bike. locking automatically ends the transaction and labels the bike as available to other users; although users may also 'hold' their bike for up to ten minutes, during which it should be locked down but is not registered on the system as being available. although the bicycles are designed to be durable, resistant to reckless behaviour or vandalism, users can also mark a malfunctioning bike as in need of repair, and 'sobi' operators will locate the bike and address the problem.
the 'sobi' system is designed for easy integration into urban or resort environments, making use of existing bike racks. the current bicycle design sees the lockbox built directly into the bike frame, a more cost-efficient and secure option to an earlier design model, which considered the possibility of mounting the lockbox onto the seat tube of existing bikes.
the system, with its GPS data, facilitates self-management: information from bike density 'heat maps' and frequent user travel paths enables 'sobi' staff to redistribute bicycles or reposition entire system hubs to best serve user needs. the lack of required infrastructure other than the bikes themselves means that system hubs and services can even be altered to reflect seasonal or other changes in user habits.users can connect through a 'sobi' social network, view maps and data about their travel habits, and see approximately how many calories they have burned and how much carbon emission they have prevented using the bikes. they can also search for bikes, setting the boundaries of the system and hub zones in which they would like to find one.