I like to swim at a place known to the locals here as Belle Isle Park. Belle Isle is approximately a 1.5 mi.² island located in the Detroit River. Generally, the most immediate reaction I receive when I tell people this is “ewww” or “gross”!
However, it turns out that due to its location, the water surrounding Belle Isle has been tested among the cleanest in the State of Michigan (Belle Isle is upriver of Detroit’s manufacturing and is fed by Lake St. Clair which in turn is fed by Lake Huron). In its heyday, Belle Isle was a gem of Detroit (and in many ways still is or at least could be); however, today it needs much TLC. In addition, it may not always be the safest place to hang out.
So when you go for a swim a Belle Isle, where do you put your keys? As a training triathlete, this is by far not the most embarassing thing I’ve done for my sport – I typically begin by removing my ignition key from the key ring (a key having electronics embedded therein), placing it in a Ziploc sandwich bag, expelling all the air that I can from the bag, sealing the bag, and then stuffing it up the leg of my swimming jammers. Then, I walk down to the beach with what appears to be a cancerous growth on my quadricep. Of course the entire time that I’m swimming, I’m periodically checking my leg to make sure this priceless package doesn’t slip away into the depths of the fast moving river – leaving me to begin the 15 mile walk home.
Of course, it’s not always keys we try to store on our person. I know of at least one triathlete in the club to which I belong (shameless plug) who has attempted to place his not-so-waterproof GPS device within his swim cap as a means of attempting to track his distance during the swim. The idea was two-fold: first, collect data (something we triathletes are constantly starved for – although I question how often we purposefully USE the data); and second, to keep the GPS device from becoming water-logged. Of course while this is no longer an issue for owners of the Garman 910XT (which is both waterproof and tracks distance when worn on the wrist), not everyone can afford the 910 XT!
Today’s simple invention may have helped my friend; it provides a pocket in a swim cap for holding an object. As a matter of fact, the inventor specifically had in mind accomplishing the same thing as my triathlete friend – having a place to hold a GPS watch. According to FIG. 3, one embodiment of the swim cap has a zipper closure (9) which would run perpendicular to the base of the skull when the cap is worn. The inventor does not limit the swim cap pocket to having zippers but also zip-locks, slide fasteners, Velcro, snaps, and buttons. The inventor also suggests a cord or tether like device at the pocket to secure the GPS watch or other electronic devices (e.g., an MP3 player) for extra loss-protection during the swim. The inventor further suggests that the material of the pocket is thin enough so that the GPS watch buttons may be depressed through the material (e.g., start and stop).
Today’s patent application (U.S. Pub. 2012/0131717) was published on May 31, 2012. The full text may be found here (last visited June 19, 2012). The patent application appears to be owned by the inventor Bruce Richard Kaliner of Rye Brook, New York.
I write this blog without taking a position as to the usefulness, desirability, novelty, aesthetics, functionality, etc. of the products or processes discussed in my posts. Naturally, readers are free to take any position they prefer and comment accordingly, provided it is in good taste. However, if I am silent with respect to your comment, such silence should not be construed as any agreement or disagreement to the comment; I hope you can appreciate that I simply prefer to remain neutral in such matters and merely report Patent Office and triathlon-related news. Thanks! 🙂