If you love bikes and love water, this might be the perfect invention.
Architect Norman Foster has an eye for design, and is a serious cyclist. He also worked for Bucky Fuller, who designed the rowing needle, a catamaran rowing machine. So it is not surprising that he fell in love with the Schiller Water Bike, two inflatable hulls powered by a jazzy looking cycle. He has one on Martha's Vineyard, and wrote in Vanity Fair that it is great fun to ride.
Watch the somewhat gratuitously sexy video:
In the early mornings, when the water is like glass and nature comes alive, it can be like magic because the bike can glide quietly and transport you to hidden and otherwise inaccessible places. In that sense, it is the ultimate waterborne freedom machine.
It is a very interesting looking bike/boat made of high quality materials, and that assembles in ten minutes. The company was founded by Jessica Schiller based on "the pioneering idea that water sport enthusiasts and cyclists alike could enjoy water biking purely for sport, recreation and fun." Schiller used to work on sustainability at Saatchi and Saatchi with Adam Wernbach and back in 2013, when she was Judah Schiller, hit all the green sites except TreeHugger (our search is bad, we may have covered it) when she became the first person to water bike across San Francisco Bay.
The water cycle (I do not like calling it a water bike because bike two wheels, although it does have two pontoons) is a bit of a luxury item at US$5,500 (C$7,500 from distributor Paul Verschuren of Blue Planet Water Bikes in Toronto), but that is a lot less than high-performance bikes or, for that matter, rowing shells, which require some skill and training and looking backward. Unlike those silly pedal boats, this is a real cycling machine that can go 10 mph. Riding the Schiller Water Bike is so easy that Verschuren tells TreeHugger that they are setting up a Water Bike share program in San Francisco.
For people who love bikes and love water, this is a very interesting alternative.
Given that Norman Foster owns a Dymaxion car designed by Bucky, I am surprised he is not on the water in a Rowing Needle. Someone should build this; it also looks like a very interesting design.
Seen at the Cottage Life Show.