People who don't ride get some stupid notions about cycling and cyclists. And then they come up with stupid products to try to capitalize on that stupidity. And then stupid reviewers try to convince us of their merits.
Take the Alcoho-Lock, for example -- it is a lock that includes a breathalyzer to keep drunk cyclists off the road. That's right. You lock up your bike with the Alcoho-Lock, and then if you've been drinking, you have to get on your knees, put your mouth up to the lock, and blow. If it detects too much alcohol, the lock refuses to open. Not only that, but it sends a message via the user's smartphone to a family member so that they can either come pick the person up, or chastise them (I'm not sure which).
Of course, the non-cycling reviewers at Gizmodo think it's swell.
"You might chuckle at the idea of a drunk cyclist, but since they often share the road with motorists, they can be just as dangerous as an inebriated driver," their reviewer writes.
Yep -- totally equal. Drunk Cyclist = Drunk Driver.
Mind you, I'm not suggesting anybody should drink and ride any more than they should drink and drive. But just as dangerous as an inebriated driver? Yeah - that's why we see headlines like this all the time: "Drunk Cyclist Leaves Dozens Dead." Also remember that, while it's certainly possible to ride a bike when drunk, basic balance issues probably make it physically harder to do. It's much easier to get behind the wheel of a car under the circumstances.
And you know how you should never read the comments section after an article involving bicycles? Yeah - I made that mistake again:
|It happens all the time, doesn't it?|
The makers of Alcoho-Lock have a website with a helpful graphic that shows how to end the plague of drunk riding:
And a video to show the merits of the product. It opens with shots of a bunch of hip-looking urban riders in Japan, all out riding at night (all on their way to get rip-roaring drunk, apparently):
|"Under normal circumstances, bicycles are really fun to ride."|
Note the minimalist lighting, dark clothing, and nary a helmet in sight. Which of these things will get them killed first?
|Get on your knees and pucker up. After a night of heavy drinking, that could be a bad idea.|
|The Alcoho-Lock communicates with the user's smartphone app (keep that phone charged, or you might not get your lock open!) to give an blood-alcohol-content reading. If the BAC is too high, the lock won't open.|
|Then your "partner" gets a call. Maybe something like "your waste of a husband just got wasted again"?|
|That's right - put the kid on the phone to talk to her drunk father.|
|"Convince cyclist not to drunk-riding." Again, side-stepping the awkward Japanese-to-English translation. Maybe a reader would like to write some dialogue for this uncomfortable conversation?|
|"I strongly hope you ride safely and not cause any accidents," says a bike mechanic at the end of the video. Because as we all know, bicycles are the real threat to public safety.|