Dear Eleanor and Wesley,
This week I discovered that flying bicycles are a real thing. Motorized bicycles that fly. We have been waiting for something even remotely resembling this technology since Back to the Future. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this scientists will have made good on Science Fiction’s promise of a hover-board by 2015 (Yeah, get cracking on that one science). In the meantime, some amazingly ambitious individuals in the Czech Republic put their collective brain power together and developed a personal helicopter that you can ride like an ExtraTerrestrial laden bicycle on the run. I can only assume that as you are coming of age, these devices will be ubiquitous in our society and begin to usher in the Jetsonian age of ease that the 80’s had always promised us. As with any new innovation, certain considerations and precautions ought to be taken. Here are my preemptive regulations:
1. Wear a helmet.
2. Look both ways, or I guess in all directions.
3. Avoid foreign airspace.
4. Take Dr. Ian Malcomb’s Jurassic Park based advice and do not simply ask whether we “could,” but whether you “should.” In fact, take this philosophy towards all technology that comes your way. Technology comes with three main promises: faster, better, cooler. These promises generally combine to make one main claim: You cannot live without ______. Yes, flying a bicycle would potentially be faster, arguably better, and most certainly cooler than pretty much any other way of getting around, but in the end the proverbial shine wears off. We experienced this whole thing with cell phones. “Phone a friend anytime, anywhere.” “Constant contact.” “You’ll never be alone again.” The dark underbelly of tech “progress” is that people seem to feel more alone with cell phone technology than they ever did before it came along. When we finally do try to unplug for a moment, to be alone with our thoughts, we are dominated by a cognitively trained addiction to stare a screen every 5.23 seconds. Cell phones are great. But they have infiltrated, and in some cases hijacked, our human experience at almost every level. We have to get beyond the question: “Is it new?” and become far better at asking the question: “Is it worth it?” If, of course, the answer is yes for the flying bike just don’t let it take over your life.
5. Make sure you look cool. Alright that’s not a real one. But still, it is a flying bike. It shouldn’t be that hard to pull this one off.
I look forward to our family bike flights.