12 April 2016

Sound: Of The Wind, Or From It?

April Fool's Day was nearly two weeks ago.  Still, I thought the e-mail someone sent me about a certain bicycle accessory was a joke.  Then again, I think a lot of bicycle accessories are jokes, whether or not they are intended as such.

Anyway...It has to do with the sounds you hear when you're riding.  Me, when I'm riding, I like to be aware of my surroundings.  That is why I never ride with headphones:  I want to hear traffic and such, so I can be alert to any possible hazards.  When none exist, I like to enjoy the sounds of birds chirping, ocean waves spilling,  the wind rippling and rasping,  and snippets of conversation--or simply silence, depending on where I am.

When I was a kid, Radio Shack used to offer transistor (Is that what I am to my siblings?) radios that clamped onto the handlebars.  I was tempted to buy one, mainly because they were offered in every color in which jellybeans were ever made.  Or so it seemed.  But since that fancy passed, I never had any desire to add an accessory that made sounds I couldn't already hear from my saddle.

I guess others don't feel the same way.  For them, Korean designer Joseph Kim created Sound From The Wind, which, as its name tells us, takes the breeze that blows in your face and turns it into something that sounds like a flute or an ocarina.  The funny thing, though, is that the device looks like something a kid of my generation might've put on a Sting Ray or Chopper to pretend he was piloting a fighter jet.  Like such devices, Sound From The Wind grows louder as you ride faster.  The pitch can be altered with switches on the handlebars.

Hmm...I wonder whether the way one rides also determines what kind of music comes from the device.  I mean, how would I have to pedal if I wanted to hear Vivaldi's La Tempesta di MareOr a Chopin nocturne?

P.S.  Gotta wonder about that brake lever...


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  2. "Transister" really made my day! And sent me on a downward spiral inventing more of them obsessively. "Transporter" (will carry your luggage at the RR station), "Transcribe" (obsessively writes everything down), "Transmute" (can never find the right word to say). Enough! Sorry.

    That SFTW contraption looks far more distracting than headphones. I can imagine some clown concentrating trying to hit high C for Tempesta and riding off a cliff. I could also imagine that Stockhausen would have written a concerto for it to be performed in a velodrome.


  3. This thing puts me in mind of another sound from a certain "wind" source.

    Transistor. Good one! My son is a trans-man. He'll love it.

  4. Philip--Send your son my good wishes. And, yes, I know the "wind" you mean.

    Jim--Thanks. I couldn't resist it.

    Leo--I've led you to a path of transformation. To what, I don't know!

    I agree that the contraption could be more distracting than headphones. Hopefully, we won't see anyone ride with it anytime soon!