Cyclists don’t have it easy. Jerks will park in their lane and they either have to go around or hope a strongman will lift it out of the way. If your bike gets stolen, the best you can hope for is an apology if it’s returned to you. It’s enough to drive any cyclist around the bend to, apparently, the point of setting life-threatening traps on your bike.
A new winner for “The Most Dangerous Thing On Kickstarter,” The Bike Mine is the shotgun tripwire trap you’ve seen in a thousand movies and video games. You strap the assembly to your bike, connect a titanium tripwire to your spokes, and insert what the designer insists will just be a saluting blank, which will just make a loud noise and wake up everybody in the neighborhood, scaring off the thief while alerting everyone in the nearby vicinity that somebody is messing with your bike. Your bike is safe, the thief’s pants are brown, and everybody wins, right?
We can see a few design flaws. Rigging up a blank shotgun shell to discharge in a neighborhood in the dead of night seems like a pretty good way to annoy your local police department and terrify your neighbors, first of all. Generally, in terms of crimes committed in neighborhoods, “discharging firearms” ranks above “getting your bicycle stolen.” Secondly, there appears to be absolutely no safety feature whatsoever that prevents some psychotic from loading this thing with live ammunition. And while filling the guy stealing your bicycle full of lead is an entertaining fantasy, “shotgun murder” is not generally considered a proportionate response to petty theft. There’s even a “perimeter alarm” package on Kickstarter, with two of these things and an extra-long tripwire. You know, in case there’s a dog or a small child in the neighborhood who you want off your lawn for good.
Yannick Read, the creator, specializes in bicycle-based overkill. To keep drivers out of his bike line, he invented a bike with flamethrowers in the handlebars and rigged up a train horn to a bike specifically to troll hostile drivers. Still, maybe he might want to consider dialing it back just a tad. A stolen bike is incredibly annoying, but it’s probably not worth going to jail over.