By Morgan Clendaniel
There was a time when people used horses as their primary means of conveyance. If you had to get somewhere, you simply jumped on your steed and rode there. Innovations in the field have since rendered horses obsolete: There are any number of ways to get to a place which do not require the responsibility and cost of having to care for a living creature. This is generally considered a good thing. But sometimes you may feel like something is missing from that horse-bound era. If that's true, consider Trotify, which uses a trick from Monty Python to imbue your bike with the sounds of a horse's clopping hoofs.
Trotify is doing a sort of self-Kickstarter campaign: They need 1,000 orders before you can actually get one. But if they do make them, you'll be sent a flat piece of wood, from which you can assemble your device and affix it to the front of your bicycle. From there, you need only find a coconut--a la the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail--and you will be well on your way to a bike-horse hybrid.
The idea of Trotify is certainly humorous, but it's attempting to solve an actual problem. Bikes move very fast and very silently. As bike riding increases in cities, bikes and pedestrians are going to be trying to occupy the same space more and more often. Bells certainly help, but they rely on the bike rider--if he or she isn't paying attention, you can glide into the back of an unsuspecting pedestrian quite easily. It's a problem that electric cars are also trying to solve, by projecting a faux engine noise. While coconuts are not necessarily the best solution, some way to increase awareness of speeding bicycles should be on its way.
Copyright 2012 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.