Going For A Bike Ride

I don’t have much to say today. It’s been a gorgeous weekend in NYC and I’m headed out for a bike ride in Brooklyn with my daughter.

Speaking of biking, here’s an awesome bike project on Kickstarter that William shared with me last week.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. takingpitches

    What are the best bike routes in Bklyn?

    1. JimHirshfield

      Robert Frost (1874ā€“1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.1. The Road Not TakenTWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth; 5Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same, 10And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back. 15I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iā€”I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.

    2. fredwilson

      I like to ride to Prospect Park and then out to Coney Island

      1. pointsnfigures

        how long of a ride is that?

        1. fredwilson

          A couple hours, maybe three

      2. Drew Robertson

        I like to go via Red Hook along the river and back home via Bedford Ave – the Hipster Highway. And try the Georgian places in sheepshead bay.

        1. jason wright

          Hipster Highway?

          1. phoneranger

            The bike lanes on Bedford Ave. are filled with fixies on Sunday afternoon as the hipsters return to their nests in Williamsburg after feeding on fish tacos on the Rockaways.

      3. baba12

        you missed out on some really good music at the park last evening… band from New Orleans http://bricartsmedia.org/ev…… could have ridden your bike over…

  2. awaldstein

    Cool project.I just wander around and invariably end up the wrong way in the wrong place.Have a great day.

    1. LE

      With driving, I almost have more issues today with GPS than I did back in the map days. In the map days you actually gave some thought and planned out your route on paper and the system worked well. Now I tend to wing it and use the GPS as a crutch and I actually have noticed I have way more problems than I did before.The GPS also prevents you from learning basic principles. Like if you are in NYC and you know how the streets run (because you maybe noticed a printed map of things) you can dig yourself out of a mess if you take the wrong turn. “Oh just go on the next odd street” etc.

      1. awaldstein

        GPS is a game changer.You drive much in places whose language you don’t speak?Spain. Slovinia. Puglia. Without GPS you are literally lost.If you don’t travel in places you don’t know, GPS doesn’t really matter.If you live rurally or even suburbanly , transportation apps generally are really not useful.

  3. William Mougayar

    Our cars, phones and homes are getting smarter, so why not bikes too?This bike is made in Toronto, btw. I don’t have any affiliation with them, nor know them. I only heard about them via a Kickstarter friend notification who backed them. I’ll be curious to check it when it comes out. http://www.vanhawks.com/

    1. awaldstein

      The web has done more for transportation that it certainly has done for our homes.Hopstop. ZipCar. CitiBike. NY Waterways.–staples of life.And these are all urban upsides–you in the country–does it really matter?Turn my lights on and off or draw the shades–Jetson stuff that really doesn’t matter to most.

    2. jason wright

      i can’t decide if he’s riding a fixed gear or a single speed. is Toronto flat?update: i see no brakes, so fixed? if so, i sense they have their safety priorities wrong.

      1. Elia Freedman

        Being a fixie and having brakes are independent of each other. Many cities require a handbrake even on fixies.

        1. lydiasugarman

          Riding without brakes and, actually, riding a fixie in traffic is just foolhardy and unsafe. That being said, they address the brakes question in the FAQ. Fixies come w/ a front brake, single-speeds w/ front and rear brakes. (https://www.kickstarter.com…A beautiful classic single-speed/fixie bike that is just coming to market is Passion Bicylce (http://passionbicycle.com/a…. Choose your frame, seat, and handlebar leather colors, order, and when it’s delivered to you, an experienced bike mechanic will come to assemble and fit your bike. It’s a gorgeous, light bike with perfect paint and fittings, high-end components that rides beautifully as only steel rides.

    3. Dave Pinsen

      I didn’t notice a price mentioned there or during the video – any idea how much it costs?The safety features sound nice in theory but riding a bike in an urban environment seems inherently dangerous, particularly with cab drivers like Faysal Kabir Mohammad Himon.

      1. Ali

        The bike was $1049 for a single speed and $1249 for a geared hub! šŸ™‚

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Ok, thanks.

  4. pointsnfigures

    http://evolvethebike.com/ placed third in the UChicago New Venture Challenge. Internet of things is hitting bikes big time.

    1. William Mougayar

      Interesting. $999 seems to be the magical price number.

      1. pointsnfigures

        I wonder sometimes if it’s better to build something like this as a separate piece, and sell it with royalty rights to an existing manufacturer. Unbundling of bikes! $999 is a high price to pay for a bike. I bought a Specialized cruiser for around town and it was $400. Road bikes and other specialty bikes routinely go for over $1000. My road bike is an old Trek Postal that I assembled and have ridden since 1994. Rode it yesterday and had some fun. Swingbyte.com is a golf company that is trying to build a business.

        1. Steven Kuyan

          I think thats a very viable long term strategy but I can appreciate the fact that they are trying to build out their own bike. With a direct link to customers they’ll be able address any issues and learn throughout the process. If they decide to license it out afterwards it will be an easy transaction since they already know how people will use it, what features matter, etc.

          1. Ryan Frew

            Agreed. This is the Tesla route.Edit: Or was the Tesla route. Not sure if they’re still interested in that strategy.

        2. LE

          Not being a golfer I have no clue how helpful swingbyte would be.That said all these products fall in to the same category: “The answer”. [1]Prey on people’s desire to find shortcuts to actual effort and enrollment in the school of hard knocks.This never worked with dieting of course although it continues to be a big money making industry.I wonder sometimes if it’s better to build something like this as a separate piece, and sell it with royalty rights to an existing manufacturer.Well let’s think about the bicycle shop shelf space. I don’t spend much time in bike shops but they are a maze of all sorts of gizmos. A bike (if you can get it in the shop) has a nice margin at retail and is way more visible and pushable in the shop than another gizmo at POP hung on the pegboard wall. You can also get more press with a bike that a product. Looks nice in pictures, can make nice videos etc.The idea of course would be to do both, make the bike (because it’s large, physical and attention getting) but also license the technology as well.[1] Of course it’s not just products it’s also mental health. Like ‘depressed? travel to India or Tibet and find “the answer”‘

        3. MikeSchinkel

          @pointsnfigures:disqus – I paid ~ $1200 for a Trek last year. If you spend $400 for a bike, you only get a $400 bike.Here are REI’s bike prices, for example. $400 is on the low end:http://screenshots.newclari

          1. pointsnfigures

            I bought mine at Higher Gear in Wilmette. It’s a Specialized. Nothing fancy and great for running around town. If it gets stolen, i won’t feel like shooting myself. My road bike was probably $1200 back in the day. Same kit today would run $4k

      2. ErikSchwartz

        $999 is not the bike price magic number for most of the world. The $1K bike is a toy of the very few.In the US Walmart et al sell 75% of bike units at an average price of $78. Even specialty bike stores only have an average price of $672.http://nbda.com/articles/in

        1. MikeSchinkel

          @ErikSchwartz:disqus Doubt they are aiming for the Walmart customer. By that logic Apple would be a failed company.Let’s use another set of data points. Only 2 bikes below $125 at REI and one of them is over $5000: http://www.rei.com/c/bikes

          1. William Mougayar

            yep- Cannondale’s can go up to $4,000 easy.

        2. William Mougayar

          ah, i meant for these new products/campaigns. it’s definitely a Rolls-Royce or Tesla for a bike. hopefully, these prices come down as they start to manufacture them in quantities.

  5. John Revay

    “Going for a bike ride”Fred – you lead such a simple life :)Enjoy the ride w/ Jess

  6. OurielOhayon

    Great idea. most of which does not require a “new” bike. an accessory on the bike could make the job for most of this features no?

    1. Ali

      Thanks for the thought Ouriel. We wanted to create the whole experience for a bike. Out of the box solution which just works and keeps you safe on the road. Our mission is to change the way of Urban transportation and get more people out of the car on to the bikes! šŸ™‚

  7. JoshGrot

    This is really wild…I wonder if they may not be trying to do too much at once (safety, security, community, navigation, AND a carbon-fiber bike) … that said, I’d pay just for the blind spot navigation.

    1. Ali

      Thanks for the thoughts Josh! We come from a manufacturing background and have been working on this for a while! We did as much as we can chew and provide the best experience for the rider on the bike! šŸ™‚

      1. JoshGrot

        Well done!

  8. Matt Zagaja

    It’s an interesting idea, but I wonder if it could be added to existing bicycles? Years ago I bought my first high-end road bicycle and the number one thing the shop emphasized was fit and comfort. I ended up buying from a brand I previously had not considered because the second I took the thing for a test ride, it felt perfect. The commuter market is obviously a bit different, so if they can bring it down to the $500 range I bet it could take off compared to some of the other hybrid style bicycles.

    1. MikeSchinkel

      Agreed complete. I bought a nice Trek a year ago for ~$1200 and can’t see spending another $1200 just to get those features.

  9. matthughes

    It’s increasingly obvious that not only is Kickstarter a great way to find new and interesting products, it’s a great place to get a bargain.A comparable carbon fiber single speed would probably cost double that amount at your local bike shop.And bigger ticket items (like bikes) are seemingly gaining steam too. I just backed Stand Desk:https://www.kickstarter.com

  10. LE

    I find the video annoying but entertaining as it’s become a genre. I hate that tone of voice (that seems to be in many kickstarters, at least the ones that have been brought to my attention) that tries to sound so calm and reassuring and perfect along with this implied “haven’t we just improved your life so much?” This is as good as yoga and everyone should buy it. Almost a whisper with no emotion. [1] That “just trust us”. The guy at college that your daughter meets (my daughter has been warned you see).One thing for sure they are bundling in way to may features and benefits without even differentiating the most important things, the hot buttons. Maybe it’s great that they have all these things (not for me for sure) but there is a reason that traditional marketing isn’t done like this sort of like a product brochure ragout [2]. That said – hey over 800k CAD!Finally, who needs all these things anyway?Here’s an idea why don’t you just use your fucking brain and figure out the route. Why do you need to obsess over exactly your miles or calorie burn? Stop micromanaging these things and just do your exercise or your commute. Why not just pay attention and be safe when you ride your bike? Why have to rely on a machine which will allow you inevitably to slouch off? Riding a bike with traffic is a risk no question.It wasn’t even immediately apparent to me that they are even selling an actual bike here. (You can actually miss that at the start .)Separately I’m not seeing anything in the founders background that let’s me know why they are qualified to build a bike and get this delivered and up to the quality standards that the mature bike industry has.As far as a kickstarter project of course A+ and LE 5 stars![1] I’d like to see a version of this video done as an infomercial “and that’s not all! If you order now you also get the lane change warning and the haptic foot rub”. Actually (seriously) would be nice to do a test with infomercial products presented in the “kickstarter” way to see how repackaging would alter perception of the product.[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

    1. Ryan Frew

      I agree with at least 75% of your points. Hell has just frozen over ;)The only thing that I disagree with is regarding the map/calorie tracking functionality. Those two things will help people to bike more frequently, more safely, and more effectively – the only three things that count on a bike. The other day, I rode to work the way I drive (15 mi) and I let Google Maps tell me how to get home. The commute home was so much better. Using your brain is one thing, but you don’t know what you don’t know. And I didn’t know about the bike path that was available.As far as the calorie tracker goes, I find that I answer positively to numbers. If I have to look my results in the face, I strive harder to make those numbers good ones. Some might call that a self-discipline issue, but who cares? Whatever helps people sweat the most and go 100% is a good thing in my book.

    2. MikeSchinkel

      LE – I guess you pine for the days of ShamWow, eh? :)https://www.youtube.com/wat…

  11. Caithrin Rintoul

    I’ve had the privilege to borrow their bike for a short time as a beta tester (I’ve been working with the company through their accelerator) and I really loved it. Loved it so much I didn’t return their phone calls for a couple hours on the morning when I was supposed to be giving it back :)I think that their best decision was to sell a bike and not bike technology- it is light as a feather, and the ‘smart’ components disappear until they’re needed, which feels great compared to the legions of sensors, etc strapped to most mid-range bikes & [email protected] Pinsen:disqus its $999 for the basic fixie and goes to $1500 for the internal hub.

  12. Ryan Frew

    Did 62 miles on this guy earlier today. It’s amazing the way a good bike ride can set off a morning. I feel great.Conceptually, the Valour is cool, but I wouldn’t back it. $1,000 isn’t particularly expensive for a CF bike, but I can go to a local bike shop today and spec out a safer bike for the same price. A safe bike needs gears and a mirror. There is no replacement for those items. If you need your handlebars to vibrate and warn you that you’re veering into traffic you have no business on a bike in an urban area. Blind spot detection is cool, but you still do need to look, which is why a mirror is better. Put simply – if you have $1,000 to spend on a bike and safety is your #1 priority (which it should be), the Vanhawks Valour isn’t the bike for you. Oh, and with all that tech, why is there no standard headlight or taillight? I expected them to incorporate a brake light, which would be phenomenal and represents a missed opportunity. Today, I hit ~37mph on a downhill with a car behind me and was scared shitless of having to brake.The app, on the other hand, is brilliant. Waze for bicyclists – so obvious.

    1. Ali

      Thanks for the comment Ryan and suggestions! Our final product does have a headlight integrated into the stem! Our bike comes with an internal hub (NuVinci N360) for the gear system! We want to make it as easy as possible for the commuter to ride and get from point A to point B. All of the features are there to help you be safer on the road and assists you to be aware of your surroundings. We agree that you should look before turning but an added layer of assists can make a big difference for users! I hope i answered most of your questions! Thank you again for commenting! It means alot to us ! : )

      1. Ryan Frew

        Cool! Thanks, Ali. One last question – why no brake light? This is a bit more broad because it seems obvious that any manufacturer could incorporate one much more easily than some of the features you have designed.

  13. SD

    Amazing day to ride in the tristate area. Felt great to be alive.

  14. SD

    I think the project seems a little [meh] to me. No one with half a brain would rely on automatic blind spot detection on a bike.There are at least 20 different iPhone apps (not to mention garmin, and 3-4 other bike sensor co’s) that do an equally good job of capturing metrics.And strava already seems to be doing a good job of getting the data for public use.http://www.wired.com/2014/0

    1. Ali

      Thank you for commenting man! We absolutely agree with you SD in regards that there is competition which have similar accessories to us. We want to create a whole experience and create a product which has everything integrated into one amazing experience. We are focused on creating a product for commuter and changing the personal urban transportation! The blind spot detection system is there to help and assist you to be safer on the road. šŸ™‚ If you have more suggestions, please let us know! šŸ™‚

  15. Sean Black

    Actually, I just saw a video with Brad Feld promoting the Hammerhead that goes right onto the handlebars of any bike. I believe Brad backed it in some way: http://www.dragoninnovation

  16. ShanaC

    I wish I knew how to bike ride.Should I buy the bike first or learn to ride first. I know I need a bike for classes, but how to get one…

    1. awaldstein

      Citibike. $100 a year if in NYC.Luli employees get a pass if they want one.

      1. ShanaC

        I don’t live near a station – But I still Love Queens .Q? What kind of employees is Luli looking for – I know a few people looking for work

        1. awaldstein

          Job page is going up soon and these will be detailed out.-Delivery driver-Kitchen prep staff-Kitchen/production Manager-Brand ambassadors for tastings and events

  17. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    So neither a bike nor an intelligence, but a complex composition. I would separate design concerns doing one thing well

  18. Pamela Hacks

    Very useful concept for a smart bike. Seems like it requires the purchase of that specific bike. Although the bike seems nice enough it might not appeal to all. it would be great if this technology could be integrated into existing bikes vs requiring theirs. Riders choose bikes and styles for all kinds of reasons.

    1. Ali

      Thanks for commenting Pamela! We want to help and create the best experience for bike riding! We did not want to create another accessory however, we wanted to create the best ride for your own personal urban transport! šŸ™‚

      1. Pamela Hacks

        Fair enough and thank you for the reply! I just had another idea, this could be a great technology to partner with the increasing number of city bike share programs. I understand if the business model is focused on personal commutes though!

  19. ErikSchwartz

    It looks cool but to me a bike with batteries and electronics and an app kills much of what I find appealing about a bike.

    1. Ali

      We try to keep the bike ride simple and amazing. We tend to leave the technology blend in seamlessly in your experience. In the end, we agree that nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride! šŸ™‚

  20. Andriana Mavrotheri

    It’s just a innovative idea and a usefull product for todays data. Where we could find it on the market and for which countries is addressed?

  21. gredelj

    Full of electronics but no brakes?