Neat Stuff


The AutoBike

The following is the old description of my Autobike (a bicycle that shifts automatically, based on how fast you're traveling):

The AutoBike is a bike that shifts gears automatically. When the bike comes to a stop it is always in first gear. When going up steep hills, it shifts into lower gears when the rider starts slowing down. It works by having 3 sliders on the spokes of the back wheel that go in and out as the wheel slows down or speeds up. The movement of those sliders causes the gears to shift. Actually, it's a pretty simple concept.

It's extremely helpful when I'm biking home from a store with only one hand steering because the other hand is holding a sack containing 2 gallons of milk (for instance).

I've changed my mind. That bike sucks. It's made of cheap materials. It costs more than other bikes which are, in fact, better. Fixing a flat on the autobike was a very painful experience because of the lack of easy release levers that are apparently standard on all quality bikes. The shifting mechanism is interesting, but it turns out that it's not a good idea if you travel on anything but completely flat ground. When you start going uphill, you want to shift down without waiting for the bike to slow down. I've purchased a new bike for $50 less than I purchased the Autobike, and I'm far more satisfied with this one. It's ten pounds lighter, it has the easy release levers that allow for easy switching of flats, and the bike is made of better quality parts.

In other words, DON'T BUY AN AUTOBIKE! If they started using quality parts and added a new mechanism that switched gears based on the amount of pressure a person's foot puts on the pedal, then they might have something good. Until then, avoid the Autobike.

Also, as a result of this experience, I've decided to never buy anything that is advertised in an infomercial ever again. I don't care how enticing it sounds and how cheap it seems to be. Also, if a company tries to make one of those quick sells when I call to order something (e.g., "Since you're interested in ABC, would you like to purchase XYZ for only an additional ### dollars?") I will NEVER again say yes to anything they offer me. If they're trying to sell something using that method, odds are it's no good or too expensive.

Lessons like these are learned expensively...

My Shoes

I purchased a pair of running shoes that are quite comfortable. I hate to think of all the years I've been wearing hightops. Running shoes have an uptilted front part of the shoe so that walking is more efficient (you sort of fall into the next step). It's easier on the foot and its requires less energy while walking.

send mail to Geoff Fortytwo (remove "_REMOVE_IF_NOT_SPAM_" to get my actual email address) If you would like to contact me then then go right ahead and email me (Geoff Fortytwo) at
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This page was last updated on 1998 August 29.