"Rocket Trike" Cleanly Travels From Colorado to D.C.

rocket trike photo
Photo: Kim Ream

Tom Weis is not the kind of guy to back down a challenge. In fact, just last week he finished the type of feat few would ever attempt -- riding a recumbent tricycle, called the 'Rocket Trike', some 2,500 miles across the United States, from Boulder, Colorado to Washington D.C., without consuming a drop of fossil fuels. For Weis, the biggest challenge facing America is to get everyone on board with a 100 percent renewable electricity grid -- and he's sure it's possible, even by 2020 -- but only if we demand it.Weis' clean-energy trike ride began back on September 12th with the mission to rally the call for a 100 percent renewable electricity grid for the U.S. by 2020. It may be a daunting goal to strive towards, says the renewable energy advocate, but America has a tradition of reaching for the stars.

"This ride is about the American people 'taking back our power' by demanding a green industrial revolution that will put unemployed Americans back to work, re-establish our role as world economic leader, and help ensure future generations a livable planet," he said. "We need to dispense with Washington's timid 'inside the beltway' mentality and start dreaming big dreams once again."

Gizmag has the lowdown on the specially outfitting trike that carried Weis 2,500 across eleven states to complete his impressively clean journey:

The trike is a recumbent tricycle wrapped in an aerodynamic body, known as the Go-One³, and is produced by German manufacturer Beyss.

Enclosed in a lightweight carbon-fiber shell, it weighs about 60 pounds (27 kg) without the motor, which was upgraded to a 350 Watt Bionx electric motor for long travel days and tough hills, though it does not require a license or registration being fully-legal for roads and bike paths. Weis also upgraded it with solar-powered LED turn signals, solar powered headlamps and rear lamp, and a mounted, solar-charged iPhone and camera. Features of the Go-One³ include: a built-in windshield, luggage rack, carbon-fiber rear wheel fork, joy-stick steering, drum brakes, ventilation inlets, splash-free wheel housings, a removable roll-up canvas top for warmth in cold weather or convertible riding in the warm, and importantly, a seat that is comfortable enough to sit on for long ride days.

With such faith in the United States' ability to meet an ambitious clean-energy goal in a decade, some might say that Weis is overly optimistic -- to which he would likely cite the nation's rich history of excelling in the face of adversity. "During World War II, America completely restructured its industrial economy not in decades, but in months, and we can do it again."

Weis is fond of likening America's efforts towards a 100 percent renewable electricity grid with those that carried a man to the moon in under a decade. And, just as those breathtaking images of Earth from space came back to shape our perception of just how precious our lonely planet really is -- perhaps the view of our world from a clean-running "Rocket Trike" can be equally eye-opening.

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