I'm following up on an email I sent you earlier this week regarding the Allo, the world's first bike mount and speaker combo.
The Allo gives bike riders full access to their smartphones (navigation, music and calls) while still being able to pay attention to the road or trail. It's great for people who commute by bike or just want to enjoy their phones while riding. With no other mount-speaker's currently on the market, the Allo was designed to be easy to use and create accessibility to your smartphone. Not only that, but the Allo was invented by teen bike enthusiast Benji Miller, who is leveraging Kickstarter as a lauchpad to this new business.
My first reaction was to hate the "Allo," for two reasons. Firstly, I detest marketing speak. "Leveraging Kickstarter?" Just say "using Kickstarter." Do you say "I'm going to leverage some toilet paper to wipe my ass?" No, you do not. (Though I suppose you need a certain degree leverage to do the job well.)
Secondly, I'm old, and I fucking hate smartphones. Remember how cellphones were supposed to give you cancer? You don't hear much about that anymore. I don't think this is because it's not true; rather, I think it's because after your doctor gives you your fatal diagnosis you look up from Twitter and go, "I'm sorry, what where you saying?," at which point the doctor says, "Never mind, you're fine," and then you go happily on your way until you step out into traffic while texting and get run over by a texting driver.
That's not to say I don't use a smartphone. On the contrary, like every other asshole I'm completely addicted to mine. In fact, I spent an entire post yesterday excoriating someone for using his while riding when I've done the exact same thing probably a thousand times. Actually, since I easily had a good 15 years on the guy, I was probably cellphoning-and-cycling when he was in middle school.
So there I was, prepared to hate the "Allo," but then I checked the Kickstarter, and while I still hate it the inventor seems like a really nice kid--a nice kid who wants almost twenty-five grand, but still:
Really, my biggest reservation about this is that this will lead to a proliferation of thin, trebly, warbly music on our public thoroughfares. Big SUVs blasting shitty music is bad enough, but a bunch of Allos out there playing jangly 21st century rock music is death by a thousand paper cuts. See, I'm old enough to remember a time when, if you traveled with a portable sound system, it at least had a pair of literal speakers and figurative balls:
Do you think LL Cool J's audition would have been nearly as successful if he'd rolled in on a Huffy and given the order "Allo" instead of "Box?" Because I don't. And that's really the test of any portable audio system. If you can't ride one-handed with a 1980's-era box on your shoulder then maybe you haven't earned the right to headphone-free entertainment.
In any case, good luck kid, we're all counting on you.
Oh, here's another email I got:
A buddy of mine is bicycling 6000 miles from Alaska to Florida and turning it into a real-time web series. I'm trying to help him with some promotion, so I wanted to reach out to your site. I think his Kickstarter campaign would TOTALLY be a worthwhile one to put on your homepage, and I'm sure he'd really appreciate the promotion! How does one go about getting a project promoted on your homepage?
Here is the link to his campaign:
Which I clicked, and who did I see?
(It's a rhetorical question, I saw this guy.)
Okays, so not only does he call me "BikeSnotNYC" (which made me cry), but he doesn't realize I already wrote a whole entire post about his friend? From this, I can conclude two (2) things:
1) He doesn't read my blog;
2) My blog is not exactly the launchpad to fame and riches that this person seems to think it is, especially if your goal is to get bitter strangers killing time at the jobs they hate to underwrite your vacation.
In any case, good luck kid, we're all counting on you.
In the meantime, we're all waiting for spring to walk into the room and go "Box!," and I know it's going to happen, because on Saturday we got our first taste of it:
Title: "Angler on bank of Hudson, catching boot."
Photographer: Wildcat Rock Machine
Spring fever manifests itself differently in all cyclists. Personally, I like to tinker, which means I inevitably pick one bike to be the victim of some sort of cruel makeover. See, every cyclist should have at least one makeover bike--you know, a bike that gets completely reinvented every year yet remains consistently ugly. So, with my spare parts closet overflowing and my loins bursting with vernal exuberance, I descended into the basement, and it was there that a new bicycle of unparalleled ugliness was born:
(Still needs an Allo.)
I call it...[cue dripping letters]...Son of Scattante:
("Original Scattante," R.I.P.)
An unholy hybrid of my erstwhile Scattante and the Ironic Orange Julius Bike, Son of Scattante rides like exactly the Scattante, it serves exactly the same purpose as the Scattante (no-shits-given city runabout), and it even has most of the parts from the Scattante (save for the frame, obviously, which I donated), yet somehow it is far, far uglier--and the Scattante was no beauty queen herself:
(Beagles recoiling in horror.)
But at least the Scattante had a sort of monochromatic utilitarian elegance, whereas Son of Scattante just looks like the illegitimate offspring of an ill-fitting Rivendell and a department store mountain bike. Even so, I'll be riding it from Alaska to Florida next month, and I'd appreciate if you'd make a donation.
Lastly, I have no context for this video whatsoever:
Nevertheless, I found it oddly moving.