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'Free2go' bike rack has promise - but will get you kicked off Car2go

Friday, August 2nd, 2013
Designer Ryan Battle with his creation.
(screenshot from Kickstarter.com)

An ultraportable $99 bike car rack designed to let people combine bike trips with Car2go's floating carsharing service was unveiled Thursday afternoon on Kickstarter. It's an undeniably neat idea.

The new product's mastermind fails to mention an important fact in his enthusiastic video, though: his unauthorized product could get your Car2go account permanently suspended.

"If you put a rack on the car2go for any bike, you are violating the terms and conditions, and you are at risk for losing your membership," Car2go spokeswoman Katie Stafford told us in a June phone interview about the forthcoming independent product, dubbed "Free2go" by its creator Ryan Battle.

(more...)

Local product designer raises over $90,000 for bike horn on Kickstarter

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Remember the "Orp"? The quirky creation of local product/industrial design firm FUSE has just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. We heard from Orp's creator and FUSE owner Toren Orzek that they've raised over $96,000, easily surpassing their goal of $90,000 with five days still to go.

The Orp was inspired by the tragic right-hook collisions that took the lives of Tracey Sparling and Brett Jarolimek back in 2007. As designers and engineers often do, Toren and the crew at his central eastside studio went to work to create a loud bicycle horn that could be heard inside the cabin of a car. The 96 decibel horn is also a bright LED light and it's much smaller than other loud bicycle horns on the market. When we wrote about the Orp back in December, it had a sound that resembled a fire alarm. After hearing feedback that a more vehicle-like sound would be better, FUSE changed the sound to sound more like the "beep-beep" of a moped. (more...)

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