Wouldnâ€™t it be awesome if vehicle drivers were alert to the amount of space you and your bicycle need to safely pass you and to make commuting in densely populated, urban areas more comfortable? What if every road you pedaled on had a clearly marked, visible bike lane to get you to your destination? Aside from pre-riding your commuting route with a can of white spray paint or waiting for the government to paint bike lanes, itâ€™s pretty much up to the rider to make yourself visible. What if you could create a bike lane that moved with you and solved the problems above, while turning more people on to using bikes as transportation?
I recently met Byron Loibl, an industrial design graduate form the Cleveland Institute of Art, and he is creating just such a devise. The Sideline is a wrap-around bicycle bumper that mounts to the rear axle and emits a condensed, focused beam of light about two feet off of the left side and parallel with the chain stay. The beam moves with the bike to alert drivers to the minimum amount of space the rider needs.
The Sideline prototype operates on a 3.0 volt pile lithium battery, commonly used in cameras, and an LED bulb. The body is fabricated from a single piece of .125 aluminum and contains both the lane pod and LED taillight, which are injection-molded out of high impact polystyrene. The small parts are all replaceable in the event of damage and the entire product looks very sleek.
Byronâ€™s inspiration for the Sideline comes from his love for two wheeled machines (pedaled and motorized) and his use of the bicycle as transportation. His design concept is modeled off the rear stone guard on a BMW multisport motorcycle and could change peopleâ€™s perception of a bicycleâ€™s place in society. It would also help drivers and riders communicate a riderâ€™s presence and make everyoneâ€™s riding experience more enjoyable. Plus, it looks really freakinâ€™ cool.