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Wanted: Two Cycling Tools That Won't Make You Look Like One

Sprocket app

Any of you own an iPad and a bike? No, I'm not about to serve up some weird little venn diagram that shows that people who use an iPad while cycling are more likely to break something than people who don't. Anyone who uses a bike in the city—and I am one of them—knows just how dangerous it can be. One's always worried that one will be squished, ignominiously, between a bus and a dumpster truck. So, one always looks behind one, to make sure said squishage won't take place. And then one rides into a lamppost.

An outfit that calls itself Maya has come up with an inspired iPad app that, while not, perhaps, affording your iPad the full protection it needs, does a lot for your own safety. And shows the world you blew $500 on a sexy new thing that's the talk of the tech town. It goes by the name of Sprocket, and, frankly, is better than a bumper sticker that says, "If You Can Read This, You're Too Close."

Sprocket app

You have to remember to turn off the auto-brightness setting on your iPad, and switch the screen to maximum brightness, and stick it in a Sprocket Pocket that the crew has designed to go on your back. And then, thanks to the accelerometer on the iPad when you lean either way or slow down, it will display the relevant screen. The Sprocket also has a few other info screens that you can activate by tapping the screen, but if you can do that while you're cycling, then you should really think about joining a circus.

Now then, any of you own an iPad, a bike, and think you're really cool? Well, buds, I've got news for the serious cyclists among you, who probably have pro cleats in their shoes, pro padded pants, pro gloves, pro helmets, and a pro-faced attitude as you scythe through the parks, scattering old ladies and their Pekinese pooches as they go. Oh, and pro cycling glasses. Well, you're not cool.


See? Mes amis, it is a truth universally recognized that proper cycling shades are the most hideous things known to man. Another truth, this time one universally recognized by cyclists, is that normal sunnies—i.e. fashionable ones, I'm not talking about those neon yeller Polaroid ones as sported by Big John Goodman in El Gran Lebowski, similar to the ones that Dick Cheney probably uses to shoot skeet with (whatever skeet are, I'm from England)—fog up, meaning that a bicycle-tree-face threeway is statistically more probable.

So, why has it taken a sports manufacturer so long to design and bring out a normal-looking pair of cycling sunglasses? Nike just has, and here is its Vintage '72 Sunglasses range. For cyclists. In white, in black, in blue.


The blurb* has them rocking a "quasi aviator, vintage feel," but I would go a little further and say that there is something very early 1980s Euro ski bum about them—especially in white. Didn't Le Coq Sportif or Vuarnet do similar ones around that time? Only thing they're missing is a bit of mirror effect on the lenses.


They're available now, and they're $99. Go. Buy. Bye.

*It also says they're "tight." Well, Nike, if they're tight, why did you manufacture them. Shades gotta fit comfortable, like.