When I was a kid, I remember John Travolta starring in a made-for-TV movie called The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, about a kid whose immune system was so compromised that he had to spend his life in a sterilized plastic "bubble" environment. It co-starred Robert Reed (formerly Mr. Brady) and Diana Hyland as his parents (fun/freaky trivia: "mother and son" Hyland and Travolta became a couple after the movie aired). The concept of the "bubble boy" also became the subject of a classic episode of Seinfeld in the '90s.
Not too long ago, I saw something on Kickstarter for a new bicycle accessory called Leafxpro. The company calls it an "umbrella for your bike," but all I can think of when I see it is the Boy in the Plastic Bubble. You too can be the Bubble Boy.
No, you will not look like a dork at all.
There are a couple of videos on the Kickstarter page, including this "Endurance Test."
|The test begins by shaking the bike vigorously. The bubble doesn't fly off!|
|Then riding over a muddy off-road trail. Bubble fairing or no bubble fairing - the lower half of this rider is going to be covered in muck when he leaves the trail.|
|Notice the plastic sling that covers the rider's backside -- like|
a plastic diaper. Fenders would still be a good choice if someone
is serious about staying comfortable in heavy rain.
I'm also skeptical about visibility when the rain is really falling. Ever try to drive your car in heavy rain without windshield wipers? Now just imagine your car with a flexible plastic bubble for a windshield. Doesn't sound promising, does it?
But don't let me get too down on Leafxpro, because, as their site says, "The world is colourful! Leafxpro inspires colour."
Anyhow - whether it works or not, I'm inclined to think the Leafxpro is going to fall short of its fundraising goal. As of today, they only raised £4,190 of £20,000 goal, with only 17 days to go. Then again, I may be underestimating how many people out there want to BE the Boy in the Bubble.