I ran across a blog posting “At MIT invented a ‘smart’ bicycle wheel” [sic] detailing some MIT folks and an electronics laden rear bicycle wheel they’re playing with. More than the details of the post itself, it struck me that it is exactly this kind of things that can lead to more wide-spread bicycle usage. Adding bells and whistles to bicycles can make them more “car like” – and thus more accessible and user friendly to average folks.
That being said, there is still something that draws me in the other direction. Sure – it is made of high-technical synthetic materials, and was designed using modern computers and possibly a wind tunnel. But there is something very alluring to me about the apparent simplicity and elegance of a modern road bike. I still don’t like riding without indexed shifting, though. Hey – a guy’s gotta have standards.