Wild Wednesday: The bike that’s also a car
April 3rd 2017
Right now, it’s raining outside in Seattle again. Or still. Not sure which. Biking in inclement weather takes either careful planning and good clothing selection (a good subject for later) or a bike that’s impervious to rain and snow.
Enter the PodRide.
Imagine if you took a recumbent bike, added a protective covering all around it and some electric-assist features, then let it loose on streets–kind of like a tinier version of a SmartCar with no engine…
Introduced in April 2016 by Mikael Kjellman, a design engineer in Ostersund, Sweden, the PodRide features 14 gears, a 250-watt motor, heated windshield, air suspension, and even studded tires.
It’s also stable enough to go for a spin on a BMX track.
Even though Mikael has gotten over 1,000 backers on his Indiegogo site and ridden it to work every day for over a year, it’s still a prototype. It has to be adapted for different parts of the world–which in the US and Canada will apparently make it a three-wheeler–and faces lots of materials trade-offs needed to get manufacturing up to production level. The final version is expected to cost $2,800.
So a PodRide, whenever it’s available, looks like the perfect antidote to northwest rain. Or, we could just choose the right clothing–and the right attitude–and get out on a bike.
What do you use to conquer the weather?
Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.