How to convert a bike into a snow plow
December 3rd 2019
Across most of the US and Canada right now, cities are digging themselves out from the first “snowmageddon” of the winter. Highways and streets are getting plowed. Pedestrian sidewalks are getting shoveled and de-iced to keep walkers upright.
Bikeways? Not so much. If they’re protected, there’s no equipment small enough to plow them. And if they’re not protected, this happens…
The big problem is that bikeways vary. They can be the same 4-foot width as good sidewalks, cleanable by whatever a city uses to get snow off its sidewalks, or as small as a 2-foot bike lane that gets a road worth of snow dumped on it by city equipment.
This isn’t a problem that gets solved by residents with brooms and shovels. We’re going to have to engineer our way out of this with something narrow that rolls and plows…possibly a bike snow plow.
Simple bike snow plows.
As simplicity goes, this one can’t be beat.
Medium-engineering bike snow plows.
At this point, folks are serious about riding a bike to move snow. Even if it means adding a bunch of parts.
Complex-engineering bike snow plows.
Sometimes, engineering is just to show that something is possible, not that it should be done.
This design on the other hand, is well thought-out, except for one small detail.
Well-engineered bike snow plows.
It had to happen. There’s apparently a commercial market for bike snow plows. Who knew?
But for all-around ease of use and efficiency, consider this bike snowplow invented in early 2019 by Rob Wotzak of Milford, Connecticut.
Here it is in actual use…
If your city had a couple of these, how popular would they be after a big snow? Enough to get lots paths and sidewalks cleared fast and really cheaply? What if the plow-bikes were electric-assist? Are we looking at the future of bikeway snow clearing?
Happy riding (even in the snow)!
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.