Here’s how you can bike on water
October 11th 2018
Years ago, my father-in-law told me about his conceptual grand adventure with a folding bike and folding kayak. On land, the kayak rides. On water, the bike rides. Unstoppable!
He never made it happen, but since then, I’ve had discussions with a Flatbike customer with the same goals in mind, using a CHANGE 611 rugged hybrid as the folding bike “beast of burden” to carry his folding boat.
And then suddenly, someone else sent me the most elegant way to solve this problem. Just ride on the water!
The Shuttle Bike water riding kit is essentially a catamaran add-on for bikes, small enough to fit in a backpack. On land, the kit rides in your back or in a pannier. On water, your bike drives a propeller, so you can bike on water. Technically, the bike never even has to fold.
Why might you want your full-size bike to fold anyway? There are good reasons:
- Transportation. Get to the best cycling/boating areas by bus, RV, train, taxi, or Uber.
- Security. Bag your bike/boat combo and take it to your room for secure overnight storage.
- Stowage. If you’re using this to explore from a sailboat, where are you going to keep a full-size bike on your boat? Anywhere, if it folds.
How does the Shuttle Bike kit work?
The Shuttle Bike kit itself consists of two inflatable pontoons, a propeller-fin combo, modular tube framing, and a pump–so you can pump up your pontoons just by pedaling your bike. Here’s how it assembles…
Once installed, this propels itself and steers all with bike actions–pedaling and turning the handlebars. And it goes fast enough to leave a wake behind!
And–did anyone else catch this?—look at the first frame of the video above and again at 1:42. You’ll see a weight-supported, fully spinning rear wheel…
The Shuttle Bike kit comes out of Italy, and at $1,500, bike extra, it’s not cheap. But there is a Canadian representative in Edmonton, Alberta, so you may not be dealing with international shipping times. For more info, see Shuttle Bike.
What’s your idea of a grand bike adventure? Is it only on land?
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.