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Chalktrail: Bike add-on combines cycling and sidewalk chalk art

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April 18, 2012

Chalktrail turns riding a bike into a creative endeavour

Chalktrail turns riding a bike into a creative endeavour

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Kids love creating art almost as much as they love getting out on their bikes, but with this approach choosing what to do doesn't have to be an either/or decision. The Chalktrail is an add-on which turns any bike or scooter into an artistic tool by holding a stick of chalk which is pressed to the ground behind you as you ride, leaving a colorful trail showing where you've been.

The Chalktrail - which was recently funded on Kickstarter - comes in two varieties (bike or scooter) but both work on the same simple principle: Using a flexible wishbone design the device clamps to the rear wheel of a bike or scooter and holds a stick of sidewalk chalk. The fitting process is said to have been kept simple and tool-free so children could do it themselves without parental help.

Once attached it's all about getting moving and seeing the lines created as the chalk touches the road. Makers say it's just as common for kids to create figure eights, patterns and designs as it is to play follow the leader, draw race tracks or simply mark where they have been. Each piece of chalk is said to last up to 1.5 miles.

Inventor Scott Baumann from Bellingham, Washington told Gizmag he first came up with the idea five years ago as he was watching his kids riding their bikes and playing with sidewalk chalk. "It went something like this: On the bike, off the bike, draw with chalk, back on the bike, back off the bike, draw some more with chalk, etc., etc." he said.

"I started wondering why nobody had ever combined the two activities so kids could ride and draw at the same time, says Baumann. "Then I looked over and saw a hula hoop lying in the lawn. I grabbed it and cut it in half with a pair of garden shears, taped a piece of sidewalk chalk to one end and taped the other end of the hula hoop to the seat-post of my daughter's bike. It was magic - every kid in the neighborhood immediately wanted one."

It's all about getting moving and seeing the lines created as the chalk touches the road

Since then he's worked to develop the idea into a finished product and taken it to promotional events. "We took Chalktrail to a city art festival last summer with about 10 bikes and 10 scooters and half of a city block of roped-off street," Baumann added. "The kids rode in circles for hours ... it was the most popular attraction at the show,".

In addition to the Kickstarter funding, there's also a licensing deal in the works with a major toy company, which could see Chalktrail rolled out around the world in time for Christmas with a suggested retail price of US$19.99 for the bike option and $14.99 for Chalktrail Scooter.

In case you were wondering ... yes, the Chalktrail will fit your adult-sized bike too! Users can adjust the trailing angle of the chalk so that it will leave the same artistic lines whether attached to Junior's 12-inch wheel starter bike or dad's 29-inch cruiser.

Check out the Chalktrail in action in the promo video below.

Source: Chalktrail via Kickstarter

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee.   All articles by Simon Crisp
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4 Comments

The novelty will probably be worn off within a week and I'm sure the designs wouldn't be near as nice as the flower in the picture.

Rt1583
18th April, 2012 @ 08:24 pm PDT

Oooooo that's nice - Can you get the chalk in half meter lengths?

Mr Stiffy
18th April, 2012 @ 08:48 pm PDT

Stiffy... must you Poo Poo on everything... get out and have some fun away from the keyboard sometime...some fresh air might do you some good... I say good for Scott... he was actively involved in an activity with his kids and had a moment of inspration that has led to a product that will bring some fun and maybe spark some interst in the arts with their children... no matter how short lived.... heck a movie will cost more than $20 bucks for you and your child....and this will surly entertain longer than that... maybe you could wrap it into a geometry lessen about the circumference of circles with your child if you need to be all "practical" about it. Live a little, and maybe you too will find the simple joy in creating a line down the sidewalk...anything that will get the pudgy kids off the sofa and the X-Box controller out of their hands I fully support!

GadgetGeek
19th April, 2012 @ 09:46 am PDT

Great stuff. I definitly want one...but with a lazer attachment and glow in the dark chalk and a camera that beeps when i'm off the line while it calculates average paths over time and leaves markings for my friends and other bikers to let them know that I Was Here!

btw, some municipalities might object to the "dirt" , like some "gemeindes" I can think off in dear old Switzerland..

Yariv Talmor
20th April, 2012 @ 05:04 am PDT
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