Riding like Superman

17 05 2011

Here at Wellington Region Cycleways we love bike technology and there are many different ways to ride a bike or trike. Whether they be railcycles, sail bikes, treadmill bikes, step bikes, water bikes

or whatever, but this one takes the cake. It is H-Zontal, and you can get to pretend you are flying like Superman.

The fellow behind it, Gilles Lalanne, saw a French patent drawing from 1934 by a Monsieur Louis Hubault and thought he’d have a go at building one. He calls them prone bicycles.
Gilles improved on the original design by having the braking on the handlebars, rather than relying on the rider clenching their bum cheeks.

Because you are looking down at the road instead of what is coming in front you need to ride it with a special pair of goggles that has a mirror mounted in them, which makes you look super-cool:

I have some ideas for improving the design myself. Instead of steering with the handle bars, you could just shift your weight,  freeing the hands for if there were some handles on pullies that could be used by the hands in a freestyle swimming motion with a kick mechanism like the step bikes above for the feet then you could swim without needing any water. Or for the authentic swim sensation you could fill up your mirror goggles with water and not see much of what is going on, so you’d need to paint on a black stripe like on the bottom of a swimming pool lane so you could ride straight. Let’s call that the Swim Bike.

A colleague suggested a new mechanism for the prone position rider instead of the pedals at the back like in the video. He suggested that the rider moved by moving their hips up and down. The harder and faster the quicker the ride. He couldn’t come up with a suggestion of what to call a bike like that thought. Suggestions in a comment please.

You should get out there building such bikes and riding them as you would not be caught sittin’ around in no Junglescape, dumb as an ape doing nothing, now would ya?



One response

7 09 2012
The Fliz « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] also might like my posts about prone bikes, shweebs and rail cycles, and sail carts. Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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