July 26, 2009

ITandem And The Emergence Of Homo Portlandicus

One of the two theories about the emergence of behavioral modernity 50,000 years ago is called the "Great Leap Forward." It posits a sudden major change, like a genetic mutation, perhaps, or linguistic innovation, which triggered a rapid expansion of human achievement--abstract thought, artmaking, planning, farming--that far surpassed the rudimentary toolmaking and hunting behavior of early Homo sapiens. The other theory assumes a more gradual, less dramatically timed, but no less monumental developmental arc; it's just that we don't know all the pieces which fill in the story yet.

I mention this because a bicyclist dad in Portland has developed the ITandem .


It adds pedals which harness the kinetic energy of the small child sitting on the ITchair.


Which is a child seat for the Brompton.


Which is a high-performance, urban, folding bike that is very popular with folks who are trying to reduce their dependence on and use of cars.

You see where I'm going with this? While the rest of us are trying to figure out how to program our DVD's so we can watch Idiocracy in our Escalades, the next stage of human evolution is unfolding--and folding--right now, here among us. Well, at Trader Joe's in Portland, but that's not the point.

Your SUV may be like a rock, but they're riding spear throwers! Hell, they've got third gen spear throwers with the Kung Fu grip! Innovations built on innovations built on innovations you've never even heard of! And they did it all three years ago!

Are you getting it, people? In this crazy, doomed comic book universe we're living in, the ones on the bikes? They're the X-Men! Not you!

ITandem [clevercycles.com via stork bites man]

UPDATE: Not that the truck-driving cavemen are going to go down without a fight: "Officers said the victim was riding with his wife and had his 3-year-old son in a child seat attached to his bicycle when [some crazy-ass fireman freakin' shot him. Only hit the helmet, though.]" [wyff4.com, asheville nc]


sadly, the itchair upon which this hack is based has been discontinued.

the latest evolutionary development in this particular household is converting to wood heat. i'll write about it some day. that and urban chicken keeping, but that's already old news among portlandicans.

And of course, only a Brooks saddle will do for the little one.

that's an ideale saddle from the late 1970s. i am still riding a brooks i started in 1992. not a fashion statement: enduring comfort, like leather versus plastic shoes.

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