Category Archives: Kickstarter

Cool bike helmet on Kickstarter

For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is one of the crowd-funding sites. If you have an idea for a product, but can not finance it through ‘normal’ channels, you post it on Kickstarter and lots of little investors, myself included, look at it and decide whether or not they want to help back it. Investments can be as little as $1.00. Usually, the developer offers one of the products to developers for a price which is below what he will charge when he markets it. I back items on Kickstarter all the time.

This item is for my bike riding readers and also anyone who has a loved one who bikes and might be interested in this cool helmet.


Here is a quote from the listing:

“CoolHead™ is a cycling helmet designed for reducing body temperature in the most important part of rider’s body- the brain. It’s unique design provides protection against penetration but it also ensures hours of reduced heat while cycling to a pleasant 15F° / 8C° below average body temperature.


“We all like cycling but some days are just too hot out there. When cycling fast, the wind is moving across your body and can usually remove some of the heat produced. However, the summer months and warm climate zones present their own challenges to riders, so how can you ensure that you don’t suffer in the heat?! CoolHead is the answer.”

For the record, I have backed this helmet. I am not as interested in the ‘cooling’ element as the design one. I ride at a speed the elevates my heart rate, but I do not ever set out to make a certain speed, or to get my body overheated. I really like how the vizor drops down. I may be able to do away with the ‘fitover’ sunglasses that I wear now.

You can go to the website here if you want to know more about it.


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Filed under cycling helmet, Kickstarter

My Bike Riding has Become Cyber Cycling

cyber- a combining form meaning “computer,” “computer network,” or “virtual reality,” used in the formation of compound words ( cybertalk; cyberart; cyberspace) and by extension meaning “expressing visions of the future” ( cyberfashion).

I was sitting on my couch yesterday and happened to glance over at my cycling helmet which was plugged into my computer. Over on the chair, my HYDRA water bottle was charging along with my cell phone. I checked the time on my Apple Watch.

I flashed back to 30 years ago when I first started riding my bike regularly on the Chicago lakefront bike path. There were no such electronic gadgets … literally.

Because I often ride in the dark, I bought a cycling helmet that has lights in front and back that flash to increase my visibility for safety. You can read about this helmet in my post – My New Bike Helmet – the Torch2.


This is the Torch helmet

The HYDRA water bottle isn’t so much of what I consider a necessity as a fun addition to my rides. You can find the details in my post – What is a HYDRA Smartbottle? Briefly, the HYDRA has a bluetooth speaker on top and allows me to play music from my iPhone on it. It also lights up at night to increase visibility of the bike.


Although those gadgets are literally new to the world as I received them from my crowdfunding activities on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I think the biggest change in my bike riding is from the smart phone which most of us already own.


With my iPhone I have instant and up-to-the-minute access to weather information which is crucial to my daily bike riding. No more do I have to look up at an overcast sky and wonder if there is rain coming and should I turn around and head home. Now, I just fire up the iPhone and check the radar. No green and yellow shapes heading my way. Good to go!


The Apple Watch

Last, but not least, is my Apple Watch. Before I set out on the bike, I select the Workout app which allows the watch to track the ride. At the end of the ride, the watch gives me a report on how far I traveled, my average speed, the exact time I started and stopped and how many calories I burned. It also includes these data in my activity log for the day.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Lest you get the wrong idea, I want to leave you with this thought:


UPdate 8 April 2016. This past week I bought a new light for my bike. My bike shop mechanic showed it to me and I had to have it. The brand is Cygolite. Here is a listing from Amazon. I am including it here because it has a rechargeable battery, just like the helmet and water bottle. I plug it into the computer after riding. 


This is the Cygolite



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Filed under biking, Kickstarter, Uncategorized

My New HYDRA SmartBottle Came

What? You don’t know what a HYDRA Smart Water Bottle is? Don’t feel bad. It happens to be a new invention that I read about and backed on Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site.

As I have posted previously, I use the two crowdfunding sources, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, for cool new products and ideas. You can read about my Torch 2 Bike Helmet that lights up at night which was also crowdfunded.

The HYDRA Smart Bottle is a wonder for a bike rider like me. It was “Designed to bring modern creature comforts along for the ride.” One picture is worth a thousand words, so you can see all the features below.


The top is a detachable Bluetooth speaker for my iPhone music. It also functions as a radio. By pressing a button on the bottom, the bottle lights up and becomes a lantern. It can also flash red if I want to turn my water bottle into an illuminated flashing red lantern when I ride at night. The base when charged holds enough energy to charge my iPhone or a tablet when out.

To get the full story on the HYDRA check out this video from the creators:

Here is the link for their website to read more:

They are just finishing shipping out the preorders for backers, so you can’t get one there yet. Amazon will be selling the bottles. Watch for them.

Posted 5 Feb 2016: Here is the Amazon link they are selling for $59.95.



Filed under hydration, Kickstarter, Smart water bottle

My New Bike Helmet – The Torch 2

And now for something new and completely different. Monty Python.


I know that not all of my readers are bike riders, but this post isn’t meant to be only for cyclists. I think you will find some useful info here whether you ride a bike or not.

torch-t2As far as the new and completely different quote goes, the Torch 2 helmet is a product that I backed on Indiegogo, one of the crowdfunding sites. It is a helmet that integrates lights into it. To my knowledge this is new and completely different. It runs off rechargeable batteries. As you can see from the photo it has 360 degree visibility.

In case you aren’t familiar with it Investopedia defines crowdfunding as “The use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Crowdfunding makes use of the easy accessibility of vast networks of friends, family and colleagues through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get the word out about a new business and attract investors. Crowdfunding has the potential to increase entrepreneurship by expanding the pool of investors from whom funds can be raised beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives and venture capitalists.”

Backing a new product sounds like big time venture capital stuff, but the fact is I invested $130 in the project. Not so big time. For my investment I received one Torch 2 helmet when they were finally produced some months later. For the record I am a totally market oriented person. I spent 20 years writing about markets for Reuters and understand that the law of supply and demand is second only to the law of gravity. Markets work. Certainly this crowdfunding one does. Kickstarter is another one that I frequent. I recommend that you check out Indiegogo and Kickstarter. They have fascinating projects of every kind imaginable, books, music, playing cards, you name it.

As you can see from the picture, the Torch 2 is not an ordinary helmet. It has lights built in to the front and the back. For folks who don’t ride, the relevance of this is that cycling lights are primarily to allow the bike rider to be seen, not to illuminate the road like a car. I think this Torch 2 solves that problem perfectly.

Additionally, lights on a bike are very vulnerable to theft when you park it. And removing them every time you park can be a nuisance.The Torch 2 solves that problem also.

I have been using the lights on my Torch 2 helmet for several pre-sunrise rides now and am enjoying it. Maybe it is only my imagination, but I feel that the cars are more aware of me with the lights flashing.

You can learn more about it at the website of Torch.

Update 8 Jan 2016. The red taillights on my helmet stopped working a week ago. I emailed the company and they immediately sent me a prepaid Priority Mail label to return it for replacement or repair. I received the replacement (new) helmet today. I wanted to recount this because so often companies slide in situations like this. The Torch folks handled it in a first class manner. Must add that I really missed my Torch helmet riding in the dark the past week.



Filed under Kickstarter, Torch 2 cycling helmet