High On Bike

A Bellinghamster On Wheels


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The Road ID App for iPhone: Be Still My Fredly Heart

bike gadgetsI like gadgety things. I really do. Just ask my husband or my cat about my iPad. My husband will tell you it’s attached at my hip. My cat will tell you he wished the damn thing had never been invented. He gets thoroughly disgusted when he’s on my lap and I’m on my iPad and often claws at my hands as I’m using it. He has sharing issues. You can also take one look at my bike and make a very well-educated guess that its owner likes gadgets. So when I read the All Seasons Cyclist’s Post about the Road ID iPhone app, I squealed like a prepubescent girl at a boy band concert. Being the safety conscious Fred that I am, it immediately stirred my desire for feeling safe while out riding—and for cool gadgety stuff.

Road ID is an online company that offers identification tags for runners, bicyclists, walkers, and hikers. Their app was designed to work with the tags (I haven’t gotten around to purchasing those yet) by allowing you to set up your iPhone’s home screen with pertinent ID information and emergency contacts. But the really cool thing the app does is allow you to send an e-mail to family or friends when you head out for a ride, and your contact can follow you live using eCrumb—an electronic bread crumb feature that provides a detailed map of where you are. If you stop moving for five minutes, eCrumb will send an alert to your contact. So, lets say that dickweed’s harassing behavior takes a darker turn and he clips me or runs me down (see dickweed post here) and I am unable to call 911. eCrumb will send my husband an alert and he’ll be able to notify first responders. And of course, my lock screen will give them valuable information as would the tags, which I really need to get to feel complete.

But let’s say I’ve just stopped for a cup of coffee on my way home and have forgotten all about eCrumb. After four minutes, the app will sound an alarm reminding me to pause eCrumb thereby avoiding the embarrassing moment the paramedics storm Starbucks looking for a downed cyclist. What the app won’t do is track your miles but it does run side-by-side with apps that do without too much of a drain on your battery.

My husband lECrumboves this app almost as much as I do. Not only does he feel better about me being out and about on my bike, if I make a random stop at the grocery store he sometimes calls me and asks me to bring home something good (a euphemism for Italian sub ingredients) for lunch. He also enjoys watching where my rides take me. He says watching me ride via eCrumb is like watching a video game. Just when he thinks I’m on a set route home, I make a turn and off I go in a completely different direction.

I really can’t recommend the Road ID app highly enough. Chances are you’ll never need it but it can literally be a lifesaver if you do. Oh…did I mention the app is free?

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Flying Bicycle? I Need to Change My Pants

StingrayWhen I was a kid, I regularly climbed a big flowering plum tree in front of my friend’s house, pretending it was a spaceship. I flew that tree all over the universe always landing on some new, strange, and wonderful planets.  When I landed I climbed out of the tree and hopped on my blue Schwinn Sting Ray (which was really an amalgam of a Jetsons-esque hovercraft, motorcycle, and army tank complete with a death laser). Woe to any unfriendly life forms be it Klingon, Martian, or the neighborhood curmudgeon, when I had them in my sights! I spent hours “flying” through the neighborhood blind to everything but my imagination, only coming back down to earth again when it was time for dinner. Far too soon my
childhood slipped away and the idea of a flying bike was slowly beaten
out of me by the realities of life. (I think I hear the distant sounding
the waaah-mbulance.)

Flying Electric BicycleThen the other day I was scrolling through online news and discovered that some Czechs just tested a prototype of an electric, flying bicycle. OMG! My inner child almost wet its pants with excitement. The prototype is heavy, weighing over 200 pounds, and hasn’t been tested outside on humans (that’s a dummy in the image), plus it needs two electric batteries attached to what are basically humongous fans. But who cares if it’s pretty much the most ridiculous-looking contraption ever?  That’s a bicycle and it hovered in the air for five minutes! Take that reality! The only thing missing is the laser.