Back around 1991 I saw Steven Roberts on an episode of The Phil Donohue show. He was traveling across the US on a recumbent bicycle with a slew of electronics in tow. I was mesmerized. Eventually Mr. Roberts built a total of 3 of these bicycle packages. The first two were called “Winnebiko” and “Winnebiko II” (named after the camper, Winnebago). The last one was called “BEHOMOTH” (Big Electronic Human-Energized Machine... Only Too Heavy).
Besides being one of the first recumbent bicycles I had ever seen he had more electronics with him than you could put in a car at the time. He even designed a special input option - typing in ASCII as if playing the piano – so he could enter text on a portable computer while riding the bike! The “Behemoth” project eventually weighed in at 580 pounds and was only ridden about 1,000 miles.
You can read all about the projects here:
Of course time peddles on. Now you can get most of the computer power & gadgetry that he carried on the “BEHOMOTH” to fit in your pocket! Add a modern laptop and you quickly have more computing power than he had at almost 600 pounds with a huge trailer behind his recumbent. Maybe the newer technology is working it’s way into his latest projects as he floats on the water now instead of peddles, http://microship.com/.
Working in the technology industry and being a gadget person myself I’ve watched as technologies he used have shrunk and become more commonplace. I’ve kept the memory of seeing the Winnebiko with me for years. I’ve added features to my homes, my cars but usually not my bicycles. But that may be changing...
Welcome to Trike Land!
This summer I began a search for a bicycle that my youngest son could enjoy riding so we could hit some trails together. I had rented a recumbent a year or so back to ride in the Tour de Cure with my oldest son. I loved the relaxed feeling while riding and kept my eye on their advancements thinking I would one day purchase one for myself. Unfortunately my youngest son wasn’t interested in a recumbent. It just wasn’t something he felt comfortable on. So on a whim we tried out a few trikes. Of course an oversized kindergarten trike would not do. We looked at recumbents of various styles. Eventually we settled on the Terra Trike Cruiser and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. You can follow our adventures on the blog, http://trikeland.blogspot.com/.
My intent with starting trikeland.com is to chronicle our adventures into trikes and perhaps grow mine into a “mini Winnie”. Who knows, we just might become the latest “technomadics”.
Enjoy the site & come back often.