Illustration by Scott Barry

GREETINGS, PEOPLE OF NOW! I have just pedaled back from the 22nd century on my steam-assisted Time-Fixie to deliver you secrets from the future!

First, I visited the 2009 Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. This two-day science-fair-meets-Burning-Man throwdown invited America's best and brightest nerds to riff on the theme "Remake America." Bicycles, with their low-carbon footprint and high hackability, were all over the Faire like stink on a corndog. But these were not just any bicycles! They were ... BICYCLES OF THE FUTURE!

I sat on these future bikes, rode them... and yes, I stole one. (You didn't think I built my own Time-Fixie, did you? Don't worry, I'll go back and unsteal it later. It's a time-bike; I can totally do that.)

I stole it to ride to the distant future, weaving between space-time lanes without even signaling, to bring back this report of the amazing ways that these amazing bicycles will change our lives! Until now, these bikes have been highly guarded secrets in the basements and backyards of their makers. But no more!


Today: Backyard hobbyists and high-end manufacturers alike are strapping batteries and electric motors to bikes of all configurations, and I personally witnessed several newfangled e-bikes. They can haul heavy cargo and climb steep hills under their own power, but you'll throw your back out loading one on the bus.

Tomorrow: Lightweight super-batteries make e-bikes as quick and nimble as the carbon-framed racers of yesteryear. Later, these batteries are shown to cause cancer in kittens.


Today: Cyclecide, the San Francisco collective that turns bicycles into pedal-powered carnival rides, demonstrated cutting-edge flying bike technology with their device "The Bumble Bee Ride." Turn the pedals with your feet, and a bike attached to a 12-foot-tall yellow-and-black pole flies around in a wide circle high above the ground. Thrilled youngsters applaud and vomit. Is anything cooler than a flying bicycle? HELL NO!

Tomorrow: Motherfucking FLYING BIKES, motherfuckers!


Today: Tyrone Stevenson Jr., AKA Baybe-Champ Da Scraper Bike King, showed off the tight-ass custom rides that he and his posse of disadvantaged Oakland kids, christened Trunk Boiz, made famous in their YouTube rap anthem "Scraper Bike." The rap crew blinged out the wheels on these scrapers with recycled candy wrappers and foil tape and the frames have two-tone rattle-can paint jobs to match. The Rice Krispies bike and the Coca-Cola bike were on hand, plus a new DVD documenting the scraper bike movement and how it helps Oakland kids express themselves and "keep it positive."

Tomorrow: Trunk Boiz rock the Grammys; President Obama grants scraper bikes to all low-income children.


Today: Embed a gyroscope in a bike wheel and you've got a gyrowheel! Put that on a bike, and it's a gyrobike! When you push a gyrobike down a hill, it doesn't tip over. showed off this nifty bike-stabilizing technology, and promised they'll soon be selling a kid's version as an alternative to training wheels.

Tomorrow: Gyropants allow all citizens to enjoy the benefits of standing up, no matter how wasted.


Today: I have one!

Tomorrow: You don't have one.

In 100 Years: You still don't have one. Sorry.

More Bike Issue articles here!