CES 2016 Bicycle Products

This year I was able to spend 3 days at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.  This event is usually crazy – tons of exhibitors and hordes of people all over the place, hence my hesitation to attend, but my the projects I have been working on in the last 12 months and those that will be on my plate in 2016, required me to attend.   So, I jumped on the plane and joined the throngs of people at the show.

While I had to spend a lot of time with customers and partners, I was able to allocate some time for visiting various exhibits.  The show was heavily dedicated to automotive products – but there were some interesting new products for bicycle enthusiasts as well.  The product that caught my attention was the Garmin Varia Vision Headset – the headset has some very interesting capabilities

  1. It allows you to view statistics about the ride – ride in your field of vision – i.e. without have to look down (to the stem or handlebars mounted smart phone with Bike Applications);   The display provides the essential stats right in front of your eyes  – thus acting also as a much safer way to show you informationGarmin Varia Vision







2) When paired with Varia Rear View Radar it provides you with the necessary information on approaching traffic.  The display can show you approaching traffic and warn you of potential issues on the road;
Varia plus Rear view radar   Overall a very clever contraption and in my opinion useful application all around.   The device warns you of approaching traffic as far as 140-meters away (per Garmin.com)


The headset is also integreatable with your smart phone.  Garmin will provide you with the compatibility list.    I have not tested that feature – eventhough I hat my phone with me on the tradeshow floor – I did not test the ability of the feature;


Ultimately, safety is a huge factor for most of us cyclists and to this effect these new products appear to address it in a fun and cheerful way.

Please let me know with your thoughts on these new gadgets – I think they are a great steps forward on safety!

Cycling Accidents and Courts Reactions

Cycling accidents, like any other unfortunate event of this nature, are always a very sad occurance.  However, what makes them even more problematic, has been the attitude of the public and courts to them.  At the same time our society is striving for ways to reduce the green house effect and reduce our carbon footprint as a way to improve the environment, we have a strange attitude in a dominant chunk of the population still at odds with even the laws — there are too many instances where a bicycle rider ends up being hit (in some cases being killed) and the driver involved is found not guilty of anything

The tide, though, seems to be turning.  In a recent rulling by a court in Philadelphia a bicycle rider involved in a very serious accident won a significant rulling

In 2011, Ashley McKean was involved a horrific bike crash at Broad and Brandywine streets. McKean, a Temple student, was riding her bicycle when she was doored by a Honda Accord and then struck from behind and then run over by a van. According to a lawsuit she filed, she suffered multiple hip, pelvis and leg fractures, some of which caused permanent damage.

A jury rendered a verdict in that lawsuit very recently, and McKean won a $2.4 million judgment against those involved in the crash.

This case and associated rulling will hopefully increase awareness among drivers (many drivers do not even know the laws pertinent to bicycles sharing the road with other vehicles), and even drive some caution among driver who are consistently inconsidered of bicycle riders on the roads.   

What I mean by this is the behaviour by some ignorant drivers who continue to both drive aggresively around bikes and even engage in verbal attacks on bikers – and I say this from personal experience.  Once I had a car (an old clunker) slow down near me (while I was biking) with a passenger in the car yelling "…buy yourself a car.." – a sad statement I thought given that my bike probably was worth more than the vehicle the occupants yelling at me were in… But that shows you the state of mind many have…

At any rate, I am very glad of this latest award in Philadelphia – hopefully it will set precedent and help drive safety for bicycle riders across the nation.  

While this needs to happen, all of us bicyclists, need to continue following the laws and observe defensive practices.  Make sure you have your protective gear – e.g. helmet, bright lights etc. when you are on the bike.

For more on the rulling referenced in this posting plus some additinal links can be found here