h a l f b a k e r y
"Bun is such a sad word, is it not?" -- Watt, "Waiting for Godot"
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here's what you do. first, make the
standard wheels on a bycycle inverted,
out of hard rubber.lock the steering.
where the rack at the
back goes, put a weighted gyroscope,
hooked up to the pedals, but so that it
will keep spinning if you're not pedaling.
Then, make steel
like the ones for ziplines up
some high mountain pass, or at least a
scenic one. you can then ride the bike
across the cables. good for thrill seekers.
includes a harness that keeps you on
bike and a second one that, if your bike
tips, will send you zipline style to the
checkpoint. it would be dragged behind
the bike in case of emergency.
I'm actually kinda scared of heights, so
I'd try the one that's only like 30 feet up
and work my way higher.
A picture of the bike of which I speak. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]
(?) The Suspended Monorail Bicycle: 1892
Hotchkiss Bicycle Railway [baconbrain, Feb 21 2005]
Look closely where the guy in the blue shirt is looking, and ignore the ride behind the monorail. [baconbrain, Feb 21 2005]
||A wheel turned upside down--inverted--is, well, the same, isn't it? Akin to an inverted sphere or inverted anything that is absolutely symmetrical.
||I meant the tread, so that instead of
bulging out it makes a concave shape.
||Once you get used to falling from 30 feet, you can survive anything!
||So it's basically 2 pulleys with a seat below it, and the
person in the seat powers the pulleys wheels by
||COSI in Toledo, Ohio has a ride like this. Their version has a ballast hanging about 5' below the bike, making it hard to tip over. I like that version better because it doesn't rely on any moving parts.
||A hard rubber, concave tire? The bike I learned to ride on was a generations-old job with hard rubber tires that eventually decayed in to what you describe.
||Make it use the same cables as ski lifts? Additional revenue for ski runs in the off-season. That might be a bit too exciting (read: high liability) without some sort of speed regulator.
||BTW - counterweighted high-wire bikes (similar to phoenix' link) have been around circuses for a while. Sometimes the counterweight is another rider.
||IIRC, the pro high-wire bikes are standard bikes and wheels that just have the tyres and tubes removed, but the rim tape over the spoke heads added to, so as to make a grippy pulley-oid sheave-ish wheel that cups the wire. And the steering welded, yes.
I rode one of those new counter-weighted bikes in Seattle, and was actually over the weight limit for riders. It leaned way over and convinced me I needed to go on a diet, immediately, starting with the lunch I had just eaten.
Like [swimr], I thought at first "inverted" meant the whole bike, so the wheels were over the rider, which would be a lot simpler, safer and stabler, and which has been baked for 100 years at least, although with a solid steel rail and somewhat obscurely. See Suspended Monorail link.
A couple of Google searches found "Children outings" at a Japanese theme park, which sounds like a gay old time, but had no pictures, and Flambards in Cornwall which has a poor picture of a two-rail track--the rails are one over the other, but both are beneath the pedal-cars, which look vaguely like helicopters. Somebody who worked there wrote this: "Let's move on to the pedal-monorail, the idea of this being to pedal gently around the track in your little pod. So why do the Chavs see fit to either pedal around at high speed and try to crash into the pod in front of them or alternatively pedal so slowly that they create a jam?"
I'd like to see suspended wirebikes, pedal-powered, riding on cables stretched over scenic areas. The view would be great, the exercise healthful, the adrenaline optional, and the costs low. Each person supplies and maintains (or rents) their own bike, which would only need one pulley-wheel and no steering. The Park Service supplies and maintains a non-moving cable, a few towers and traffic control, and *no* trails or roads.
||Oh come on... [baconbrain]'s quote regarding pedal monorails can be rephrased as "why does everyone either go faster or slower than me?"