Sunday, November 25

Pedal Powered Car -artwork

I was impressed and intruiged when I saw this post about a pedal-powered car. Instead of some four wheel bicycle, there was an old Buick. As I read on, the post revealed that Michel de Broin had, in fact, removed the engine and guts of an old car and created a bicycle drivetrain to power the vehicle. If art is meant to intrigue and create discussion, than this piece has definately done it's job. I was left looking at it and rethinking my ideas of what is a car and what is a bicycle. Despite the latin root of the word 'bicycle' as being two-wheel, most human powered vehicles are described as 'three-wheel bicycle' or such. However this isn't simply a four wheeled bicycle, it's a human powered car. So Michel has in fact rewritten our definition of car and bicycle.
Of course the Toronto authorities did apparently look upon revolutionary transportation with the same predictable malice that other western governments do. Namely by searching for some means of squelching it.
The irony of course, is that they're charge was 'operating an unsafe vehicle.' What is so amazing is that with proper brakes (which I'm told were maintained), an automobile traveling at 15mph is 5 times less dangerous than an equally sized vehicle traveling at 30mph(1).
I do hope that innovations like this reach many more eyes and ears, if for no other reason than to make us think.

1 comment: said...

I would be interested in doing a project like this on my 87 Chevy Sprint. Being only 1670 lbs (including the 200+ lb engine, currently) I would assume this type of vehicle to be an excellent candidate for converting to bicycle power train. With pedals at all 4 seats, it could really move.