I get a lot of e-mail from people who make or sell smartphone mounts for bikes. They’d like to have their mounts reviewed.
The first problem is, I don’t have a smartphone. I don’t want one. I’m insufferable enough without the ability to fact check any conversation, or to find that video of the man on a buffalo that was so funny that you really need to see it right now even though were in the middle of dinner.
The other problem is that these mounting systems all look the same to me. I wouldn’t know how to evaluate one if I did receive one for reviewing.
Recently my boss upgraded to a new iPhone, and gave me his old iPhone with a cracked cut-hazard screen. No cellular service. It’s basically an iPod now.
About the same time, I was contacted by Kevin Keller who is one of the designers of yet-another iPhone mount, called The Mounty.
Not only was his timing good, but The Mounty looked different. It has a rubbery aesthetic similar to bike lights and other stuff made by Knog. So I took the bait and had Kevin send me one.
The Mounty is a Kickstarter project, still looking for funding. Watch the video:
The model I received was a prototype — it said “PROTOTYPE” right on it — which made me feel like an Air Force test pilot flying an unproven fighter plane.
I broke it.
So Kevin sent me another one; which must be a more recent prototype because I have failed to break this one, although I’ve tried just as hard over a longer period of time.
The original was a fun bright green. The replacement was a boring black. The Mounty will be available in several colors.
My first challenge was figuring out what would be the purpose of mounting an iPhone to my handlebars if the iPhone doesn’t have cell service. All those cool cycling apps require Internet access.
I suppose I could just connect to the office WiFi and ride my bike around the warehouse at work.
For the first few days of having the iPhone, all I really wanted to do was play Save the Pencil — which didn’t work very well on my bike, because The Mounty does not rotate to a horizontal orientation.
Then I realized that the iPhone has a compass application. Oh boy. I could ride around looking at a compass instead of looking where I was going, with one hand on the handlebars and the other hand taking photos.
Then I realized that it was really easy to remove The Mounty and re-mount it to anything with a tube, as long the tube was roughly the diameter of a handlebar.
With the WordPress App for the iPhone, I could moderate the interminable debate that was underway about the Constitutionality of funding bike infrastructure. And I can do it while The Mounty is attached to (plug for our sponsor) the handlebar of a Chariot Child Carrier — 2011 models are 25 – 35% off while supplies last.
I could sweep the floor while listening to the podcast of my secret lesbian girlfriend.
By the way. Did I tell you that I bought a Ridekick? One of those electric-powered bike trailers that push your bike?
The day the Ridekick arrived my wife called and asked me to pick up some aluminum foil on the way home.
No problem honey!
So I rode to the grocery store on the way home. The Mounty was still on the handlebars, and I was using the completely unnecessary compass app.
I was thinking, I’ll be able to show Commute by Bike readers the exact geographic coordinates of the Aluminum foil. Yuk yuk.
At the store, I strapped The Mounty to the grocery cart — because a box of aluminum foil is huge and requires a grocery cart.
Then my wife called, and asked if I could pick up a couple more things.
Of course, Honey! (I have our new Ridekick trailer!)
Only, it was more than a couple more things. It was many, many, more. Like, five things.
I didn’t have pencil or paper on me. So I did what I usually do in these situations: I started repeating the list over and over in my mind, possibly even mumbling audibly to the other customers in the store.
Rice Crispies, Foil, Cheese, Pear, Apple, Scrubber Pads… Rice Crispies, Foil, Cheese, Pear, Apple, Scrubber Pads… Rice cakes, Oil, Peas, Bear, Scrapple, Lubber Dads…
Excuse me. Do you sell Lubber Dads here?
After I’d found the first couple of these items, it occurred to me that the iPhone has a Notes app! And there the iPhone was, already attached to the grocery cart with The Mounty!
I typed the grocery list into a note, and allowed my mind to wander to it’s usual places once again. (On this occasion, it was how to defeat Save the Pencil, chapter 3 level 3.)
And the revelation came to me that I had a real use for this Mounty thing. In my quest to be less of a slacker; to do more of the cargo-hauling errands that my wife normally does in the car, I can have my wife update the shopping list at any time during the day. With The Mounty, my Ridekick, and my boss’ broken iPhone, I’ve solved one of life’s problems — a problem for which the conventional solution would have been a second car.
If you’d like a Mounty of your own, for now you’ll need to back the Kickstarter project. For $20 you can get one after the project is fully funded. (Okay… If the project is fully funded. But let’s be optimistic.)