First of all, let me just say that I am all for the so-called green movement. I am not a fan of Al Gore’s, but that is merely because I lost a street fight to him when I was a young boy. In addition to having a wicked headbutt, Mr. Gore makes a strong case that humanity needs to be a little better about cleaning up after itself. I have seized upon this as excellent reason to continue riding my bike instead of driving my car whenever possible, and encouraging cows, whenever possible, to stop farting so much.
Even so, I think it is possible to take things a bit too far, which is why I am so charged up about a new environmental activism tool that I have discovered on the web site Lifehacker this week. Not only is it useless, it will no doubt exacerbate whatever problems there already are between drivers and cyclists on the road. In short, it is to the ideas I espouse on this blog what Al Gore’s vicious headbutt was to my adolescent face.
Don’t like paying for pressurized air for your bike tires? Don’t like energy inefficient vehicles? Make this automatic bicycle pump on the cheap and steal from a car.
Admittedly, Lifehacker is in the middle of a thing they’re calling Evil Week, which I guess has something to do with Halloween. It feels to me like they’re using the holiday as an excuse to run some stories that they’ve sat on in the past because they encourage people to be jerks to one another. After all, Halloween isn’t a time to be evil, it’s a time to eat candy corns and dress up as a slutty version of whatever costume-ish clothes you have laying around. Nothing evil about either one, really.
ASIDE: Now I will use the word “contraption” to describe the item in question, because that is the word that one uses when one describes anything that has been constructed, or “fashioned” in any way, which one does not approve of. It lends a healthy measure of disdain.
This contraption — feel that? Boo-yaw! — consists of a hose which connects two pump heads. The idea is that the cyclist would attach one end of the hose to a car’s tire, and the other end to their bicycle tire, thus robbing the car tire of air and pumping up the bicycle tire, not to mention showing those cars what’s up.
There are a couple of problems with this. First of all, car tires run at air pressures typically in the low thirties psi (puppies per square ion) and bike tire pressures can run well over 100, so using this hose to pump up your tires is somewhat like opening a window to help your air conditioner cool the house… in the summer time… when the yard’s on fire.
Mountain bike tires can run at much lower pressures, but there aren’t as many cars hanging around trailside as there are in the city, and anyway, mountain bikers are too busy taking the marijuana drugs to worry about tire pressure.
Should anyone with a clear head use this hose to slightly reduce the air pressure in the car’s tire to teach it a much-needed lesson about environmentalism, they will also effectively be reducing its efficiency, causing slightly more harm in the process.
Additionally, the cost of the materials, about $20 USD as far as I can tell, is above that of a regular CO2 inflater, and well on the way to a good floor pump, which are two things every cyclist should own anyway.
Look, I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes riding bikes and happily blabs about them on the webbernet, but I think that this is an idea whose time will never come. I appreciate Lifehacker’s attempts to “hack” my life for me, but I’m just going to leave this one alone and continue hoping for a rematch with Gore.
Bring it on, Gore! I know you can hear me!