MUSICEYES & EDGE

Kickstarter Pick: Orp

MUSICEYES & EDGE
Kickstarter Pick: Orp
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Photo courtesy of OrpWho: Toren Orzeck, an industrial designerWhat: Orp, a bike horn and light loud enough to be heard in trafficGoal: $90,000 by Feb. 11So far: ~$43,500 His story: When Toren Orzeck was in high school, a car ran into him as it was making a left turn, or “hook.” Orzeck, fortunately, was fine. He got a new bike out of the crash.Later in life, however, he was struck by how often, and how dangerous, left- and right-hook bike accidents happened. The 2007 death of Tracey Sparling, who was hit and killed while riding in downtown Portland, particularly moved him to make the streets safer for bicyclists.“You think you’re in your own private lane like you’re protected, so I just thought, oh my God, there’s got to be a way to fix this,” said Orzeck, an industrial designer who runs his own firm FUSE.Orzeck and a team of designers and engineers created Orp, a bike horn with an LED strobe light and a shriek loud enough to be heard over traffic. The little horn has already received praise from major bike blogs, including BikePortland, but Orzeck is only halfway to his goal, with just less than a month to go.The tongue-curling name Orp, the two eyes on the front and the sound all reveal touches of Orzeck’s personality.“I was looking at onomatopoeias… That would be so awesome if we could make the sound, the ‘orp’ like a water droplet, at least for the friendly sound, and it’s so short,”  said Orzeck, who speaks quickly and chuckles in spurts of conversation. “I love really short names, single syllables. I don’t know what Orp is… I think it’s fun.”The body looks like a flat-headed creature, with a cute cartoon face on the headlight and a tail that wraps around the bike handlebar. The Orp sports two beeps: a friendly chirp at 76 decibels and a get-out-of-my-way honk at 96 decibels. The light stays constant or flashes.The $90,000 in Kickstarter money would help pay for production tools, including silicone molds and electronic circuit boards. The first run would spit out 2,000 Orps, which Orzeck hopes to distribute through Cyclone Bicycle Supply to mom-and-pop bike shops and big box stores like REI.“Sound is like this undiscovered country,” Orzeck said. “No one’s done it small, loud and bright.”Written by: Dominique Fong//