Anyone who commutes across a large body of water will appreciate the following scenario. Imagine riding your bike to the waterfront, mounting it on a set of pontoons, riding across the water, then simply dismounting on the other side to continue on to your destination. No car. No traffic. No bridges.
This vision of bike commuting across the water is a dream of fellow Mill Valley resident Judah Schiller. Frustrated that the East Bay communities of San Francisco are cut off from the rest of the Bay Area for two-wheeled access, he set out to find a way to bypass the bridges and make use of the rather large water obstacle itself.
Ultimately, the BayCycle will become a compact water bike kit that renders any bike sea worthy. Two large pontoons keep your bike relatively stable, even with waves. A rudder and propeller are attached to the front wheel, providing propulsion and steering, while a cable attached to the rear wheel turns the prop.
Schiller claims that a ride from the East Bay to the city takes about 45 minutes. Given that it can take me almost 3 hours to drive 20 miles to Berkeley during evening rush hour, I would be all over pedaling my way across the Bay instead. Judah also tested out his pontoon bike in New York City, biking across the Hudson River in just 15 minutes.
As the slowest part is inflating the pontoons, Schiller would love to see cities keep racks of already-inflated BayCycles by the water, where commuters could easily grab a set to ride back and forth.
Right now, the BayCycle is just a prototype that Schiller loves to ride around the waters of the Bay to get the word out on his idea (I need to find him to test it out!). Sadly, his recent Indiegogo campaign was not fully funded. Let's hope he finds an alternative funding source soon so we can see the BayCycle Project move from dream to reality.
Would you bike commute across the water?