A High-Tech Rickshaw For The 21st-Century Commuter
INTRODUCING ECLIPSE: A PRETTY REDESIGN OF THE CENTURIES-OLD STREET VEHICLE.
Rickshaws, perhaps better known now as pedicabs, have come into vogue in recent years as a greener and easier alternative for getting around in crowded American cities. Next week in particular, thousands of visitors will swarm Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest festival, and will likely rely on some 500 or more pedicabbies for transportation between events.
That said, none of those carriages are likely to be as stunning as Eclipse, a new rickshaw concept that its designer Kenneth Cobonpue calls “a more civilized version of the humble three-wheeler.”
In both the United States and in South America and Asia (where Cobonpue’s studio is headquartered) modern rickshaw designs haven’t evolved much past their original 1800s counterparts--and in some ways, that’s okay. Passenger carts are low-tech by definition: they operate off the grid and are used exclusively for short distance travel. At the same time, if rickshaws came with a few more amenities, perhaps their adoption rate would imprive in urban areas.
Cobonpue’s proposal includes things that passengers might find on an Amtrak or in a new car: cupholders, an iPhone charging dock, speakers, a fan, and panels that can close. The feel of luxury is meant to extend to the peddler, too: the handlebars and seats are covered in soft, but waterproof, hand-stitched faux leather. The entire vehicle is built from aluminum and a woven polyethylene, so it’s both sturdy and lightweight. The piece is in line with Cobonpue's other work, which features woven, hardy, outdoor furniture.
In July of 2006 a few of my friends joined me on an inaugural bike tour of West Virginia. I spent that winter planning a variety of routes through the Monongahela National Forest, and this would be our first of many weekend tours in the Mid-Atlantic Region. An early morning departure from the Pittsburgh area had us loading up the trailers high atop Spruce Knob . The starting point for this 60-mile mixed-touring loop was the Big Run/Allegheny trailhead off Route 112. Heading clockwise, we utilized forest roads, rail-trails, and paved roads. The reality of pulling our belongings behind us set in as we headed down the dusty and rolling forest road, quickly understanding why West Virginia is known as "The Mountain State." Soon we were treated to one of many mountain vistas. After rolling onto pavement (Route 28), we climbed over Allegheny Mountain and coasted into our campsite for the evening -- Island Campground , situated on the banks of the East Fork of the Greenbrier
have had some very fun excursions on rail trails , disused railways turned into pedestrian/bike paths. The trails typically go through very beautiful areas and rarely do you have to concern yourself with motorized traffic of any kind. Reader Will appears to be interested in rails as well, but he wants to ride on them - literally. Check it out - Will included the following text - A rail-bike is a bicycle that has been modified to be able to ride on the rails of a railroad. The front wheel has a device attached to it so that the bike won’t steer off the rail while an outrigger is used to support the bike using the other rail. I used conduit, cut up “razor” scooters parts, one bike fork two bits of steel and numerous nuts, bolts, washers and retaining pins. Nothing is welded. The hardest part is getting the spacing right so that friction and play are minimized. A lot of person hours certainly went in to this working model and the details are pretty amazing. [Keep re