The Spokester Bicycle Noisemaker is a plastic children’s bike accessory attaches to the front fork of the bike and simulates the sound of a motorcycle as the paddle hits the spokes. It is long-lasting, durable replacement for the age-old clothespins and playing cards trick.
Spokester is simple to install and lasts for over 200 miles of riding. “We want to give kids an incentive to get outside and enjoy riding their bikes instead of playing video games or sitting inside. Our product stimulates the imagination and provides hundreds of hours of good old-fashioned fun and exercise.” says creator Kevin Nelson.
Because of the loud noise it generates, the Spokester increases the cyclist’s visibility to others who may be sharing the road, making it a useful safety feature. The Spokester has already been used by police departments such as the Amherstburg Police Department in Amherstburg, Ontario, where they are distributed to children as a safety device during annual “bike rodeos”.
Spokesters are even being used as a safety precaution by aerospace manufacturer Boeing at its Seattle location. Employees at this large facility transport light loads and move between hangars on bicycles, and are now using Spokesters as an audible warning to pedestrians and vehicles that a bike is approaching. Raleigh, NC based company Playtrix, the maker of the Spokester, has shipped dozens of cases of product to these facilities, and is excited about the new corporate safety market.
Playtrix is a family owned and operated business run by Kevin Nelson and his three adult children Adam, Kate, and Eric. They began producing the Spokester in 2004, and marketed it as a children’s toy designed to “improve on the decades-old idea of attaching baseball cards to a bicycle to simulate a motorcycle sound”. It has since been growing in popularity, and while it is most often a gift for young bicycle enthusiasts, it is now seeing other applications.
The recent success has prompted Playtrix to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the Spokester, in an effort to raise the capital needed for product modifications and increased production. The campaign launched on Kickstarter on August 5, and can be found here.