- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Trike design

Australian Cyclist magazine recently alerted me to the new ICE folding recumbent trike.

This is a truly inspiring design. I wish I could get my hands on one for a test ride in Tokyo. Must speak with LORO guys and see when they are planning to bring one in.

Had dreams the other night of a recumbent design with a kind of hand pull assist, just for the hills. I guess inspired by having seen handcycles and the rowbike. Trikes seem fairly stable at low speeds. And on hills, they tend to be a touch slower than regular bikes, mostly because of the extra few kilos in the frame and seat. I wonder if there isn't some way to incorporate a rowbike kind of upper-body assist for the hills, whereby you could continue pedaling as well - at least on steep hills.

All this thought of hills must be inspired by thoughts of the Utsukushigahara hill climb race in June. Guess there is no easy way out for me this year - must drop a few kilos!

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