As June kicks off with thunderstorms and potential flash flooding from Idaho to New York, many Americans are struggling with this commuting dilemma: How can they bike to work without showing up at the office looking like a drowned rat?
New technology has now made it possible for cyclists to ride rain or shine while still keeping their hair dry (under a helmet, no doubt). Dutch company Senz has invented an umbrella holder that can be mounted to a bike’s handlebars to shield riders from downpours, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The umbrella handlebar attachments cost $70 and are sold exclusively on Senz’s website, the article said. The company has apparently sold a few thousand of the contraptions since introducing them in March.
Besides preventing problems “such as being soaked to the skin and bad hair,” Senz’s says, the bike-mounted umbrellas also make cyclists look like they’re straight out of Mary Poppins (while still keeping them grounded on the pavement), Bloomberg says.
The umbrella mount is the latest in a trend of new items geared specifically to bike commuters and designed to make riding to work more comfortable—and fashionable. Levi’s, for example, now sells a “commuter” line of jeans, jackets and other apparel made of stretchy, “water and dirt repellent” materials that also include reflective details along with higher waists to avoid showing too much backside.
And a Portland company sells a $20 handlebar-mounted coffee cup holder.
Now, all someone needs to invent is a safe way to answer emails while riding—a handlebar-mounted laptop holder, perhaps? And soon people may be able to work from their bikes all day.
For the record, bicycling to work is on the rise, with nearly 900,000 people, or 0.62% of commuters, foregoing the subway or their car in favor of pedaling to their job instead, according to the latest data.