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Friday, October 5, 2012

Get ready, Portland

This equipment will surely be part of the Portland bike share program:

(Mouse on photo to activate.)

We are not making this up, either.

Comments (16)

If I'm right in guessing that the air bag deploys when an accelerometer chip (like the one in your cell phone) detects you tipping past a certain point, what happens when you bend over to tie your shoes?

Bike helmets have always looked inadequate to me (and I've had a lot to do with safety and accidents). This "airbag" helmet looks useful to me except for the cost. And the possibility the government will make it mandatory.

Side story: A few years back an acquaintance, and engineer, told me of a grad school project he was part of. They developed an airbag that could be worn which would expand and protect a person with balance problems (eg. epileptic) when they fell. I saw a short video of it and it worked much like the helmet in the story above. Impressive.

Coolest head bag ever. I love the real world crash test videos that "align" the windshield impact and the bike rider's head. Reminds me of a San Diego Heaven's Gate "wait for the aliens" bag. Why not put a whole body crash bag inside the Bike Share GPS bicycle frame and have it deploy whenever an SUV gets within killing range?

I demand a head airbag in case I trip on our uneven sidewalks.

And since I may not actually fall on my head, I'll need one for my butt, and side ones for my arms and shoulders. Should I have one to prevent knee injuries?

I like that their test "crash" looks just like the Portland logo. (When you cross the streetcar tracks.)

I think Portland Streetcar should provide these helmets to anyone riding across the streetcar tracks.

These could be expanded and given to all the street people. After wandering aimlessly all day, and possibly fueled up on pain-numbing petrol, the person could just fall to the sidewalk and be comfortably wrapped in a protective bubble wrap until the wonderful morning Sun returns.

The Air-Head-Bag.... Not just for pretty blonde bicyclists, but they'd be a good target market.

Oh Goody !

At last the future "Department of Bicycle Safety, Division of Portland Department of Transportation", can hire a Director, two Assistant Directors and four specialists to review, analyze and coordinate the implementation of bicycle safety equipment.

I really would like to see bikers REQUIRED to buy that $ 600 headbag so they can experience the feeling car owners have been feeling lately.

I guess it's a good start. Next they can add an additional protective surrounding to the bike for safety. Then improve its stability by employing four wheels instead of two. And why not improve distance capability with some kind of, oh I don't know... engine or something. You know, I may on to something big here.

What amazes me about that video is how the Swedes trained a cadaver to ride a bike.

That video is freakin' funny!

It IS funny, but I was reading the other day (NYT?) YES!: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunday-review/to-encourage-biking-cities-forget-about-helmets.html?pagewanted=1&_r=5&ref=general&src=me&

The gist seems to be that in order to encourage such programs (and cycling in general), cities are blowing off helmet laws. That makes sense, as renting a bike is supposed to be a gay, carefree, spur-of-the-moment thing (and unattended) - you can't expect to have renters showing up with their own helmets, nor can you expect renters to rent a helmet (which may not fit, might carry head lice, etc.).

Of course, Oregon's helmet law, which went into effect in I think 1994, can be poo-pooed as outdated, and besides, Portland controls the state.

I had it out with a couple of cyclist friends a while back when this first made the rounds with "Wired" and the like. Yeah, it sounds like a good idea, but so does fitting DC-10s with passenger ejection seats in case of emergency. I have yet to hear a reputable answer as to the likelihood of that airbag being set off in circumstances other than an accident (such as, for instance, a sudden stop or just being out in extreme heat), whether or not it might go off in circumstances where it might make an injury worse, or if it actually does real good with humans instead of crash test dummies. (In the last case, it's much like testing a personal flying jetpack: do YOU want to be the person on whom this cuts out at the worst possible time?)

Sorry, kids, but I'll stick with a bike helmet. I know that a brain bucket may not do a whole lot of good if I get into a game of chicken with an 18-wheeler, but at least it is passive protection. I wouldn't trust this in a billion years, and I'm joining Jack in laughing myself sick over that video. It really should be a video of the Portland city symbol.

Those things will probably be going off in the checkout line at Whole Foods from the mere impact of the total bill.

Plus, you'll notice the dummy suffers a broken nose and some teeth knocked out.

Stay tuned for the premiere of Portland Mutant Biking Turtleheads!

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