For those of you too young to remember these things were groundbreaking at the time. (Also, for those of you too young to remember, what the hell are you doing here? You should not be reading content authored by old fusspots.) "Hipster cysts" clung to oddly-shaped bicycle tubes, they were virtually impervious to the elements, and they were available in an assortment of colors. For the first time, city cyclists actually wanted to put lights on their bikes.
At the same time, they had their drawbacks. Firstly, they provided about as much light as the "ready" light on a Mr. Coffee. Secondly, they used little watch batteries, and whether it's a bike light, or a thermometer, or even an actual watch, no human in the history of the world has ever replaced one of those little watch batteries. Instead, the accessory in question winds up in a junk drawer somewhere until you get around to buying new batteries for it, which is precisely never. This explains why you will never see a "hipster cyst" still in operation today. It also explains why Swatch is still in business. Instead of replacing the batteries, you just buy a new Swatch.
(Trust me, I know from Swatches.)
Fortunately, bike lights evolved. They kept their mount-anywhere versatility (that sounds dirty), but they also got brighter, and best of all they became easily rechargeable thanks to the ubiquity of USB ports:
Now you could just stick them in your computer all day while you pretended to work and they'd be ready to fire for the ride home.
The blinky light had reached its apotheosis.
But like everything else bikey, it wasn't long before things started going too far. Blinkies evolved into giant light cannons:
And finally came the tragic fate that befalls all bike components sooner or later, which is pointless integration with your smart phone:
Nevertheless, in a world of promotional videos, this one does stand out. First of all, it features a cheesy soundtrack and comes via a company called "Bang Good:"
Who seem to have borrowed Amazon's phallic underscore:
Oh come on.
If Mario Cipollini were to debut a bike light this would be it.
Anyway, a quick examination of the box reveals that the device contained therein is good for a staggering 10 hours of use, which frankly sounds a bit much:
But then again I'm no Cipo:
("Ten hours? Is a quickie only.")
Next the disembodied hands open the box, at which point you brace yourself for whatever's going to come next:
Dear lord, it's some kind of strap-on!
And it's going on the bike!!!
HOLY CRAP HE'S GOING TO HAVE SEX WITH THE BIKE!!!
As he switched on the device and it started whirring I was certain I was about to watch a flagrant and shocking violation of the YouTube terms of service:
But instead it turned out this was just an overwrought bike light that makes pictures:
Because everybody knows there are times when it's crucially important to convey the image of a strawberry to the driver behind you:
Best of all, it's backwards-compatible with your pennyfarthing:
So there you go.
Lastly, the only thing going up faster than the stock market in this country is the automobile death rate:
Despite all that, more Americans are dying on roads and highways than in years, and the sudden and sharp increase has alarmed safety advocates.
Reading this you'd almost be forgiven for concluding that a nation of smartphone-addled opioid addicts should probably be working to reduce its dependency on private automobile travel.
Fortunately, when confronted with the specter of over 40,000 people dying every year, the current administration is working to stop the carnage by banning immigration from a small handful of countries.
Of course tech companies could always make their products safer for drivers, but why short-change themselves when they can just dangle the idea of self-driving cars in front of us for the next 50 years instead? As for using technology to augment law enforcement, that's a clear violation of the privacy we already completely surrender while using the apps that distract us while we drive in the first place.
Alas, if only there were some sort of transit mode that not only required no active involvement on the part of the passenger but also used on electricity and was capable of transporting large numbers of people at once on a dedicated right of way:
Yeah, keep dreaming.