The state of Colorado is known for its mile-high city, majestic mountains, an occasionally decent NFL team, and excellent craft beers. In a state like Colorado, the “beer flows like wine“, which is to say: there’s a lot of beer. Transporting all that carefully crafted beer – usually stored in large, heavy kegs – can get a bit tricky. Transporting kegs can get trickier, still, if your artisan micro-brewery was built on a foundation of environmental consciousness and a desire to promote locally-produced products. This is where Panda Bikes stepped in with a well-designed, human-powered solution.
To help keep local, sustainable breweries going in an environmentally conscious manner, Panda developed the the “Bootlegger” tricycle. The Bootlegger is designed to allow a single person to transport a 160 pound (!) keg with ease, sitting the keg on a low platform positioned between the trike’s two front wheels. The rider (engine?) of the trike sits way back, behind the keg, steering the Bootlegger by turning the two front wheels with connected handle bars. The rear third wheel, key to the bike’s excellent stability despite the forward weight bias, is a large 36 inch unicycle wheel.
Shaking a keg during transportation can end badly, of course, and Panda’s Bootlegger deals with this issue by building the platform on which the keg sits over a sprung suspension system up front, isolating the keg from the blows from the road and also aiding in keg removal once the trike gets to the bar. Additionally, the brake handle on the right side locks up the large rear tire with a spring loaded peg during keg removal – essentially creating a parking brake to ensure the tricycle doesn’t roll away.
The Bootlegger Tricycle is in action already delivering kegs of beer by Equinox Brewing in Fort Collins. If you find yourself there, be sure to keep your eyes open for this uniquely designed service tricycle, which – hopefully – will be the first of many Panda bikes helping to clean up urban deliveries in the near future.
You can check out a full, 14-image gallery of high-resolution photos of Panda’s Bootlegger over at Inhabitat.com, where Colorado correspondent Andrew Michler was able to ride the bike for a few minutes and shares his first-hand riding impressions.
Source | Photos: Inhabitat.com
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.