Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 28th, 2006 at 2:28 pm
Photo: Ready to Ride
Flexcars are everywhere in Portland. So are bikes. So why not have Flexbikes?
I’m not talking about a snazzy, European style bike-rental program (like the one being discussed by Commissioner Sam’s office), I’m talking about pedal-powered vehicles that you’d rent when your regular, everyday bike just won’t cut it.
Portland cyclist and journalist David Rowe — the man behind the Ready to Ride website — might have found the perfect “bike” for this application.
While at the Interbike trade show, he took a close look at the Aerorider, which its inventors call the, “ultimate single seat hybrid” (it has electric assist). Here’s a shot of David in the cockpit:
“With gas prices still quite high, with hybrid automobiles coming into vogue, with ride-sharing organizations such as Flexcar reaching critical mass, and bicycle commuting entering the mainstream, the timing has never been better for HPVs in America.”
A Flexbike would be more affordable than a regular Flexcar membership and it would be perfect for folks that just aren’t going to ride in the cold, wet winter. A Flexbike — like the Aerorider — would be quicker around town and more comfortable than a bicycle, and easier to park and nicer to the planet than a hybrid car.
Human powered vehicles (HPV) are where it’s at. I personally think regular old bicycles are just fine, and I’m excited by the influx of bakfiets and other utitlity bikes in the U.S., but slap on a fairing, maybe an extra wheel, some cutting edge design, and maybe a lot more (mainstream) people will get excited about people-powered vehicles.
Bottom line: If Flexcar offered an HPV, would you sign up?
More HPV reading: