Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Bikepooling" in commuting future?

Image of seven-passenger conference bikeFrom the Baltimore Sun, 06.07.07:

Spinning around town on bicycle built for seven

Sometimes whimsy can be the mother of invention. A Dutch sculptor/wannabe mechanical engineer created the Conference Bike. There are about 150 in circulation worldwide. The Conference Bike is a beast, a normal bike on growth hormones: 400 pounds of steel in motion, maximum speed about 12 mph.

It looks like a poker game on wheels--three to be exact: The Conference Bike technically is a Conference Trike. Seven people sit around a large, circular handlebar, legs independently turning pedals linked to a central chain drive. The rider in the rear seat-post position...commands the brakes and steering wheel. (Read more.)
Appealing as it is to imagine fleets of these seven-passenger tricycles cruising back-forth on Market Street in San Francisco or elsewhere, I have a hard time seeing these as anything more than an amusing novelty.

Bicycles resemble cars in one important aspect: They provide "personal" mobility. Even in the most "livable city" imaginable, it's hard to imagine a situation where individuals won't have different destinations and itineraries. Bicycles are incredibly flexible--they can go almost anywhere at anytime.

What do you think? Could these be a form of eco-friendly "mass transit" in your community?

Image: Baltimore Sun.
Visit: In the city, commuting by bicycle gains traction, Baltimore Sun
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

1 comment:

Tuco said...

Well, I have to admit that the odds of me using one of those would be slim, but wow - it'd be a great world if the major north/south or east/west streets in the big cities of the world had four or five of these set up to use so that if you saw one going by with an empty seat you could jump on and "ride" the last 200metres of your walk home!