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Speed Vest Picks Up the Pace on Bicycle Safety

by Jake Mohan 


Tags: science and technology, gadgets, inventions, safety, transportation, bicycling, Urban Velo,

speedvest

A newly developed piece of clothing called the Speed Vest is giving bicycle safety some much-needed visibility.

The reflective vest displays its wearer’s speed in bright neon numbers on the back, increasing the rider’s visibility while addressing the common complaint that bikes slow car traffic. Automobile drivers’ impatience might be mitigated if the Speed Vest confirms that the bike in front of them is traveling at or near the car’s speed.

The Speed Vest is still in the prototype stage, but its designers—Brady Clark, of Minneapolis, and Mykle Hansen, of Portland, Oregon—have already won the Bike Gadget Contest held by the Hub Bike Co-Op in Minneapolis and showcased their invention at the Minnesota State Fair this summer. The bike blog Urban Velo has some playful suggestions for alternative messages bicyclists could convey via the Speed Vest.

Image by Nathaniel Freeman, courtesy of Speed Vest.

gary ashcraft
9/3/2008 4:02:41 PM

This is just one more lame, horses arse gimick to try to pedal ( pun ) crap to cyclists. I'm an active urban commuter here in Houston Tx. I am all for any bright flashing iluminating gaget or gizmo I can get on my bike to create visibility for myself. I am the true Harlequin when out pedaling and not modest for a moment about it. I have pedalites to make my pedals blink, I have a seat that flashes, a seat post flasher, and reflective material all over the bike and myself, I also have a reflective bandolier courier bag with rear loops for three more flashers. I feel no need ( nor do I see any value ) in announcing my speed. Lets face it the speed limit is usually 35 MPH and I've only pedaled that come down mountain grades, beyond that here in Houston nobody EVER drives the speed limit so I'm always slower than the traffic I'm in. However if this vest could be made to flash brightly just to draw even more attention to myself I would be interested. The game is about creating visibilty for a cyclist not a distraction to a motorist. Gary Ashcraft