Friday, April 10th, 2009
Behold: The Blubber Busting Baby Bassinet
The Bike Dream Machine won first place in the Innovation Nation 2009 amateur design competition this month at the Ideal Home Show in London.
It’s an exercise bike that rocks a baby bassinet. The Innovation Nation website describes the bike:
“[The inventor] came up with this invention because he was frustrated at not being able to continue his usual exercise routine without spending precious time away from his newborn son. The idea is to combine an exercise bike with a rocking baby basket. The circular motion of pedalling the bicycle drives a mechanism that gently rocks the baby.”
If this device was made by some geek parent for fun out of a dilapidated bike he picked up at a garage sale and it debuted in a Youtube video it would be awesome. But when it debuts at an invention competition with the inventor-father toying with the idea of applying to BBC’s Dragon’s Den TV show to obtain invention financing it’s… sad, maybe?
Consider the following…
1. You’ll use this bike for a maximum of what, six months? As soon as your baby sits up or begins crawling, game over. That’s quite an investment and a significant space commitment on top of all the other baby stuff that now occupies your home.
2. Common advice for sleep-deprived parents is to nap when your baby naps. Umm, on a bike?
3. Do you keep riding until your baby wakes up as much as two hours later? Or do you exercise only for the few minutes it takes to get your baby to sleep?
4. So with this bike I get to hold a refreshed baby after his nap and also stink of sweat? Nap time is a precious opportunity for a parent to take a shower, not to spend that time getting stinkier.
5. Forget watching TV or playing the stereo while you exercise unless your ears are wired. I’m no fan of hearing-loss-inducing ear buds.
6. Dads: It’s never a good idea to buy an exercise bike for your wife no matter what parental usefulness it claims to provide.
7. Why not buy a regular exercise bike that you’ll use for years and just invest in a self-rocking battery-powered bassinet? Or buy a regular bassinet, rock it for a few minutes until the baby is asleep, and then jump on the bike?
A humble suggestion: Invent a bike that has an open-ended adapter. It rocks a baby. It powers a TV set. It recharges my cell phone. It churns homemade ice cream. It blends the smoothie I’ll drink upon completion of my ride. Best of all, it spins my toddler as he desperately tries to avoid being flung from his dad-powered Sit’N'Spin.
For more info:
Wales Online: Redundant man’s Bike Dream Machine invention makes it to final of competition. [Redundant seems to be the UK word for unemployed.]
The Sun: Best new British inventions of ’09.
[The photo above is via Jamie and Louise of Radio Wales. Nice photo, but their inventor interview is offline.]