Recently, headlines were made about a device that has been invented known as a Shuttle Bike. It’s being sold as a portable kit, that is supposed to transform a regular bicycle into a water boat.
They say the kit is easy to carry, and enormously helpful to any people who travel long distances with a bicycle, that could be more easily navigated through the water.
A man named Roberto Siviero designed the kit, along with an engineering firm. Venice, Italy, is the exclusive manufacturing location of the device.
(Image credit: ibikeitaly)
Apparently the plethora of canals present in Venice, Italy make for a perfect testing ground when it comes to this product.
The kit that allows a bicycle to become a boat is composed of pontoons or floats, that are inflatable and airtight, inflatable with a special kind of bike pedal that pushes air into the floats.
Usually those “pontoons” are yellow, with a composition of plastic and nylon. Setting up the device is basically a one step process of attaching the rudder to the front wheel of your bicycle.
It’s about $1,300 for one of these devices, but it depends on what package you choose.
There’s one place this device would be very, very much appreciated: Canyon Lake, Texas, the most rowdy small town you’ve ever heard of between San Antonio and Austin, Texas. In Canyon Lake, it takes about an hour to drive from the north side of the lake all the way to the south side.
If you have a kayak or a boat, you can make that like a 15 minute boat ride across the lake, from the neighborhood of Potters Creek or Tamarack Shores straight to the docks on the south side in the neighborhood with Oblate drive opposite Mobile Home Estates.
Water taxis are now a thing as well. A company called Potomac Riverboat Co. is helping people beat the traffic. According to an article from the Washington Times:
“The company’s large yellow water taxis have operated on the Potomac River for 30 years. Last fall, Potomac Riverboat added a route to the newly renovated Wharf and two new catamarans that each hold 149 passengers. Its fleet now consists of eight older catamarans that can carry 122 passengers each and four of the larger vessels.
Riders now can travel to and from The Wharf, the Navy Yard, Georgetown, National Harbor and Alexandria. Google Maps started listing the taxi routes online this summer while Metro was creating severe service interruptions to resolve maintenance issues.”
It’s positive in a way for people to be thinking about new ways to do things like this. Sometimes it’s like you shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken, when it comes to technology, but that’s certainly not the case with this type of thing. These little convenient, fun inventions are a walk in the park, a pretty lake of “innocuous” compared to, for instance, the inventions being pioneered by the government agency DARPA.
Would you ride a bicycle across a body of water with this device? Would you trust it?