Born to be wild

Behold the minibike. I’ve seen one or two people riding these things around Brooklyn, but apparently they’ve really taken off in San Francisco. The New York Times had a terrific piece in the weekend Fashion & Style section about these street-illegal teensy rides, which included this observation:

According to riders, part of the thrill is the bikes’ proximity to the ground; they are only 16 to 18 inches tall. “You’re inches from disaster,” said a San Francisco rider named Dan, 22. “It’s a spectacularly precarious, awesome feeling.” Yet many street riders don’t even wear helmets. In San Francisco, a typical rider zipping at a fast clip along Page Street last weekend wore shorts, a T-shirt, a backward ball cap and flip-flops.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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