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Create your own bike lane, redux

I love this:

> “Contrail” is a design concept that enables cyclists to increase their visibility to cars, pedestrians, and each other. Conceived by Pepin Gelardi and Teresa Herrmann, this frame-mounted device would allow cyclists to make their mark on the street with faint lines of chalk. The rear wheel spins a smooth trail of color onto the pavement as the bike whizzes along.

>Contrail leaves an impression based on the cumulative movements of many cyclists over time…Its provocative visual language lies somewhere between sky calligraphy, temporary street graffiti, and overlapping footprints in the snow.

This is reminiscent of the LightLane product concept, which paints a lane marker around you bike with a laser. Although LightLane is pitched as a safety device, I noted that it seems at least as effective as a social statement. Contrail mostly ditches the safety angle altogether, and ratchets up the social angle in a way that strikes me as much more powerful.

At first the idea struck me as pretty hopeless as a commercial endeavor — why would anyone actually fuss with such a functionally useless add-on? But I could actually see this gaining some hipster credibility, and in fact the designer may release some DIY instructions soon.

Other cool design ideas are on view at the Power to the Pedal competition web site.

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