Inventor’s Notebook

Since about 1985 I’ve been trying to make a bike that made sense. You see, when I look at bicyclistsI see only ‘feasibility’ not ‘design.’ And what, you must certainly be wondering does he mean by that?! He means that most manufactured products take their form not by what is the best design for their intended purpose, but by what is easy — or even possible — to manufacture. And bikes are probably a poster child for feasibility winning over purpose. My original objection was that bikes only use our legs. Not our arms. But as the years — and my failed prototypes — rolled on, my interest and focus changed from arms to bellies… because I did something simultaneously regrettable and inevitable; I got older. So, somewhere around 2010, after my first prototype that had a crank above the handlebars, I changed my modus operandi to making what can only be called a ‘prone bike.’ Go ahead and Google it, but make sure to tap the ‘Images’ filter; I’ll wait here.

<to be completed>

Ice hockey skates are a literal pain to tighten, even when putting them on initially, not just trying to make them tighter after wearing them for a while. It’s always cold, the friction burns your fingers, and it’s difficult getting the tension right at each spot on your skate. In a few years, they’ll abandon the traditional laces and probably go to the ratcheting mechanism of ski boots, but so far they haven’t made that step. Why? Probably various excuses about the technology not being good enough for the war-like environment of hockey… but also fear of looking less than 100% macho. And everyone knows that ratcheting mechanisms are the first sign of weakness. So I’ve tried a few things, and learned how to have things 3D printed along the way. Here was my first try.

The various things you put in an ice hockey goal when one of your lame-ass goalies fails to show up are a poor substitute for even a lame-ass goalie. I made these welded iron pockets that are oriented like the gaps in a goalie’s coverage. They’re 3/4" square steel tubing, with a hard rubber back panel, and goal netting, creating a pocket about 6" deep.

Both targets in position

Detail showing a target up close

Hmmm. Must have a picture somewhere.

The best inventions have no physical presence, just an idea. Have the US Postal Service deliver mail to only HALF its route on alternate days, totaling 6 days per week. They’ll travel half the distance and save almost half the total post office gas expense.

Fail.

Stop laughing.

  1. Zippable, covered top
  2. Straps with clasp to lock around chair
  3. Mesh pockets inside and out
  4. Key lock
  5. Zippered inside pocket
  6. Pen and pencil holder on outside
  7. Pocket for phone/charger with hole for cord to outside

Got to prototype stage with a beach bag that solved a lot of they nuisances:

Nothing dramatic, just all the right design features.

Originally published at https://medium.com on October 30, 2021.

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