Don’t Call It A Tow Rope, It’s The Bicyclebungee!
Having second thoughts about getting married? Are your kids driving you nuts? Do you find your riding buddy incredibly obnoxious? Well, don’t despair — make it look like a bizarre cycling accident with the Bicyclebungee!
Alright, that’s not really the late-night infomercial pitch for the Bicyclebungee, but it could be. The Bicyclebungee is designed to allow a stronger rider not to get totally annoyed with a slower rider and vice versa. It acts as a high-tech tow-cord, equalizing the effort of the two riders, in theory.
As both cyclists head off in single file the leading rider will start to pedal more powerfully and the bungee cord will gradually extends out of its casing as it unwinds from the spool. As the ride progresses, the assistance-force from the front rider will accumulate in the retracting spring inside the bobbin and the bungee cord. This energy is then released as a smooth, steady pull on the following bicycle.
This seems like a good idea for flat bike paths and carriage paths — very controlled environments, but in the above video, we see a couple out doing some light mountain biking, the manufacturer actually recommends this entirely insane practice:
On a single mountainbike track the Bicyclebungee’s good length of available cord lets the riders keep a good distance apart so the towed rider can choose their own line, or stop with enough time to warn the front rider.
“Hey stronger rider, just a quick heads up, I AM GOING TO CRASH NOW.”
“Yo slower rider back there, I am about to jack on my brakes to avoid hitting this…cocker Spaniel!”
Bicyclebungee also says riders can disconnect and reconnect the apparatus while riding…
To disconnect the bikes the hook on the handlebars of the following bike can be quickly and easily released during the ride without stopping. The cord retracts immediately and completely into the Bicyclebungee housing.
You can reconnect when stopped or when riding. Either rider can take hold of the hook and clip it onto the following bike’s handlebars again.
The victims, um, I mean target consumers of this product will likely be inexperienced cyclists who may not be comfortable even riding with one hand off the bar, never mind attaching and reattaching a bungee cord to a bike while rolling. The image of the carnage that would ensue from this process going awry is haunting me in advance — oh God…there’s so much blood.
Bicyclebungee better have some good lawyers.
The above video describes installation of the Bicyclebungee. It is cute that the term “saddle post” is used.
Of course I’m the ass, because it is a saddle post. No self-respecting cyclist would call a saddle a “seat,” so it only makes sense that we should call a seatpost a saddlepost.
Or, we could all start referring to saddles as “chairs,” and calling seatposts “chair-poles.”
It’s also cool that they got the robot voice-over guy from those Xtranormal videos to narrate. I love that robo-kiwi.
“Using the gears, the riders can work at whatever effort level they choose as the gradual transfer of force continues to the bicycle being towed. The result is a smoother and more comfortable towing arrangement for both riders.”
All I know is that Matt Hoffman’s world recording setting highest air attempts would have been a whole lot safer if he’d been using a Bicyclebungee to get dragged behind that motorcycle at 50 mph instead of a simple tow rope.