A completely unrelated post (motorcycling)

In my “spare” time, I love to motorcycle. I’ve owned five motorcycles in my life (in order):

  • 1989 Honda 50 Spree moped, which I still own
  • 1973 Honda CB350 4 Cylinder (A rare bike that looked like a 750 but only displaced 350cc’s)
  • 1979 Yamaha XS650 Special
  • 1996 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast
  • 1985 Honda GL1200 Goldwing
  • 2000 Victory V92C Cruiser, my current motorcycle

I have over 100,000 miles on motorcycles, with over 35,000 on the Pacific Coast and over 60,000 on the Victory. I’ve also traveled from Minnesota to Alaska (and back) on the Victory, and before I was married, I was putting nearly 20,000 miles a year on two wheels.

My riding has decreased significantly with my marriage and subsequent birth of of my son–which is to be expected. For years, I’ve ridden with a “batwing” fairing on my bike, making it look like a Harley, mainly so I can listen to the radio (usually sports talk) while I ride. I’ll be removing the batwing fairing and replacing it with a regular windshield that I already own.

Here is where the issue of technology comes in…I purchased an O’neal Tirade Helmet this evening, which is Bluetooth enabled. I can now listen to audio (from my iPhone or the built-in FM receiver) though my helmet, and even answer the phone if someone calls (a large button on the side of a helmet answers a call). Additionally, if my wife or my father get a similar helmet, we can communicate via Bluetooth (My wife rides as a passenger, my father owns a 1996 Honda Shaow). The O’neal helmet was $296 at Bob’s Cycle–a Minnesota motorcycle accessories dealer who consistently has some of the best prices on things like helmets (I’ve bought my last 5 helmets there). A HJC or Shoei Bluetooth ready helmet are in the $150 range, and their Bluetooth kits start at $225. So the $296 fully-prepared helmet is a good deal.

If I’ve wanted to listen to an iPod or an iPhone in the past, a cassette adapter was required. Many motorcycle communication devices also require wires. This means NO wires–and that’s a great thing.

I’m very excited to get out on the bike and try it out–but we’re going to get 2-3 inches of snow this evening (April in Minnesota, what can you say, other than to groan?). So I may not get to ride for another week.

Bringing this back to education, my need in education is for everything to be wireless. If that can be obtained–relatively affordably–in motorcycling, it should be possible in education. Apple, let’s get full wireless mirroring going with the iPad!


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