From the Baltimore Sun, 06.07.07:
Spinning around town on bicycle built for sevenAppealing 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.
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.)
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