It would be very interesting to see a bicycle "car" for 2-4 people that could hold its own on slow neighborhood streets. Most people have several stores within a few blocks. Imagine the wife and kids or the entire family rolling slowly along, getting excercise, waving and chatting with the neighbors. It would be much better than riding the standard single bikes because drivers show them NO respect, they have little or no cargo capacity, and the kids are on thier own rather than under the steering control of an adult. A 4 wheel, bench seat, surry "with a fringe on top" would be great fun and a good advertisement for sustainability.
What it would take to make such a beast from two regular bikes?
James Newton says:
I'm looking for two old bicycles to weld together into a bicycle car. They don't have to be nice or even working, but I do need two identical frames. If you have two old bikes rusting in a corner, let me pick them up and maybe do something good with them.
We live 4 entire blocks from the grocery store and we keep firing up the van to drive down there... just seems like a waste. We would ride regular bicycles, but it's hard to carry any amount of stuff and my 8 year old is not so good with steering, so having to worry about him and ride at the same time is not workable.
There are plans for doing it on the internet so I figured I could start simple and add features (electric assist, cloth cover for shade, etc...) as I go along. I'll document my success or failures on the web so others can learn.
James Newton Says:
For about $800 and a couple weekends of labor, one could build a 4 wheel bicycle "car" with an electric drive, batteries and a solar panel. Two "beach cruiser" bikes are about $100 each at target. $150 for the "granny cycle" frame kit to bolt them together, about $200 for electric motors, switches and wiring. Batteries will cost between $50 and $200 depending on quality and quantity. And Harbor Freight has a complete solar panel and charger kit for $150. A "car" like that will get you to and from the store once or twice a week assuming the store is just a couple miles away at absolutely no operating cost. Now the interesting bit: Unless that completely removes any need you have for a car, it isn't worth doing. Run the figures yourself. How many trips to that same store in your gasoline powered car does $800 buy? If you still have to own a car, it is more frugal, and therefore more sustainable, to just drive the car to the store... Or pedal that $100 bike yourself, if possible.+
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