I don't know if readers can remember anything specific from the 7th grade, but as for me, 7th grade brings back one particularly bitter memory. You see, it was 1984 and Van Halen was on tour. I wanted to go to their Portland, OR concert (May 2nd, not that I am fixated on it or anything) but the parents thought differently. What could have possibly gone wrong with a 7th grader at a Van Halen concert in the 1980s?
One thing I was not doing as a 7th grader was contributing much to society. Reader Theo on the other hand is a 7th grader on a mission. He sent us the following email:
I’m Theo, a seventh grader and cyclist from Memphis, TN. Recently, I completed initial work on http://therightbike.com, a new crowdsourced bike recommendation system, as part of my project for http://ecybermission.com, an online science fair. I’m trying to get as much usage data as I can, and as such would appreciate to no end even a small mention on your blog. Thanks very much, and please contact me if you have *any* questions!
Holy cow! While this 7th grader is contributing to the global good, I in my 7th grade year was likely camped out in front of the TV hoping Hot for Teacher would make the MTV daily video list. I am sometimes, okay, all the time cynical of the state of our world, but Theo gives me hope for a brighter future.
Readers, please help Theo, and his friends Josh and Alex, in their pursuit by offering comments and visiting their site. Do it for the kids! After you are done you can then watch old Van Halen videos on YouTube to celebrate =)
What follows is more from Theo . . . and the bikes at the bottom are the bikes Theo, Josh, and Alex rock.
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My hometown, Memphis, is quite a "pro-bike" city, and is currently adding bike lanes as fast as they can be paved. However, just because the lanes are there doesn't mean they'll be used...simply because it's *hard* to get a bicycle in this modern world. My mother likened buying a bicycle to car shopping: with so many choices, it's a nightmare to try to find the right bike. Materials, styles, weights, designs...when you used to be able to go into a store and say "I'd like a bike" and walk out five minutes later, now it can be a months- or even years- long process of frantic Googling, contacting the manufacturers, et cetera: the worst of vicious circles.
All of this drama is alleviated with our tool, "The Right Bike". It uses a community-built and constantly growing database of bicycles to recommend bicycles instantly... and rather than just print a bunch of statistics (like some similar websites), it takes a user's priorities and requirements (e.g., "I care the most about comfort, and am looking for a bike I can use on trails" or "Price is really important, but durability is also a selling point for me") and finds the right bike...for them.
So, The Right Bike: Three seventh graders. Theo, Josh, Alex. Three months: November, December, January. Crowdsourced bike recommendation, tailored to you. Free. All it can do is get better.
Check it out. We'd love to hear what you think.