This entry was posted on Monday, June 2nd, 2008 at 12:58 pm and is filed under Video podcasts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Adult cyclists with child-like tendencies - always men, natch - have great fun applying the brakes of their mates as they’re riding along. Now, imagine you could do the same with a key-fob remote control and an infra-red controlled braking unit. What fun you could have!
In fact, the brand new Bike Stoppa is a real device, available only online, at a price of £29.99, and is aimed at parents who worry about the braking abilities of their kids.
This is a worthwhile worry. Many kids’ bikes have pitiful brakes and it’s takes a wee while for children to master the art of stopping their bikes. Google News is chocka with stories of little ‘uns getting killed while riding their bikes. Some of these deaths might have been prevented had a parent been able to stop their child’s bike in time.
A quick-thinking adult, riding close to a child cyclist, could execute an emergency stop by grabbing hold of the child but the Bike Stoppa has an interesting extra feature. It applies a tyre-centred brake when the frame-mounted device goes out of range of the key-fob. This is about 30 metres. For parents with long driveways and an adventurous young child, the Bike Stoppa could be, ahem, right up their street.
The company claims there’s no risk of the child shuddering to a sudden halt and head-planting over the handlebars as the braking is progressive.
The device has a short lifespan because children can’t be kept attached to digital apron strings for ever but for certain applications - including maybe for children with learning difficulties or with disabilities - the Bike Stoppa could be of interest. Naturally, adult supervision would be necessary at all times. This is a last resort device, not the main means for a child to stop their bike.
When the technology is miniaturised and placed, secretly, on your mate’s bike the laughter will never cease.
Braking is a life-skill. Here’s the definitive online article on learning to ride a bike. Definitive? I wrote it, I can label it as I like…