I just want to pre-empt this post by saying I’m not a fan of pedaling. I always look awkward on bikes. Personal preference.
But I know there are millions of people out there who enjoy cycling (they always seem to get in my way on the road) and that there are plenty of people who would bike to work if they could. Inclement weather, distance, and rough terrain are probably the biggest factors in why most people don’t bike to work. For those of you still considering the trek, there is the Goblin Aero…and as awkward as it looks, these guys might be on to something.
The Goblin is another simple idea that makes a lot of sense. Essentially a tricycle covered by a “speed sock”, this kite on wheels is offered with a gas motor assist to take the rider up to 40 miles on little more than a quarter gallon of gas. For 50 cents worth of fuel, that is a lot of travel. The motor used is either a 35cc or 50 cc Honda unit. Apparently, these “velomobiles” are quite popular in Europe, though I’ve never heard of them before.
Of course, you also have to pedal to help the motor out; its an assistant, rather than a self-propelled unit. So how easy is it to pedal, and how fast does it go? I dunno. I could never see myself in one of these. But according to the Goblin Motors website, this little trike went up to the top of Mt. Lemmon in Arizona from the Valley (vertical distance of 6500 feet) effortlessly. That rear pod can also hold five grocery bags, so it fits almost perfectly as a grocery-getter vehicle…for one person.
You better bring your iPod though, because there is no radio, no heater, no passenger seat, nothing, nada. This is bare bones transportation with a gas motor that will set you back about $6,500 without the EcoSpeed electric assist option, which can increase range to 100 miles and speed to 30 mph. As it stands, the gearing in the Goblin allows it to max out at 20 mph. Not highway worthy, in case you were wondering.
They are also developing an aluminum-sided “Hot Rod” version with a much sleeker design called the Rampage. That I might consider, if only I didn’t have to wear a helmet. I have a large, weird-shaped dome, you see…
Here in New England, this vehicle is a no go six months out of the year however. It gets too cold, too wet, and the drivers here are in a constant state of distraction. But for those of you in warmer climates, would you give this a whirl?
Source: Goblin Motors