Picking through the trash in the garbage bin of life.
Sunday, 30 June 2013
A small snippet showing why I have faith in the market rather than regulation.
Bought a new bike helmet today. As I was trying to find one big enough to fit my fat head, the shopkeeper pointed out that the model I had just tried on had a red light built into the rear. I’d never noticed that before.
Commuters have a tendency to light themselves up like Xmas trees – paranoia about being collected from behind by a dopey driver. Just about every commuter I see on my route has bought an extra light and attached it to their helmet.
Some smarty marketing or product dude has noticed this and thought, “Why not manufacture helmets with a light in them? Because many cyclists clearly want a helmet mounted light”.
Which is why you can now buy a helmet like that. Not because some pencil pushing bureaucrat in a regulatory agency thought it would be a good idea – but because a company took a risk, retooled their product and chucked it out there to see if people would buy it. Which I promptly did.
And thanks to a competitive market, the new helmet (with light) cost about 1/3 what my last one did.
I also got a good lesson in paying more for a proper bike fitting.
I bought a new saddle as well - the old one was well and truly worn out. The mechanic fitted it on the spot in a few minutes, but I didn't test it out before leaving the shop. About 5 minutes into my ride home, my legs really started to hurt - the new saddle was an inch or so taller than the old one, which meant my legs were being forced to extend that much further on every stroke. Before long, I was in total agony.
Of course the only thing I forgot to pack before riding to the shop was the multitool that I could have used to drop the saddle height.