I will be updating this site in the near future last update 4/24/11
Thanks for stopping by.
Start with an idea.
Welcome to Bricycles.com
The idea: A compact, reasonably lightweight, single-occupant vehicle.
My solution: A more "Green" alternative to the conventional automobile. A totally enclosed fiberglass monocoque recumbent trike with electric assist, disc brakes, a fully independent suspension and 21 speeds.
What you will find on these pages
I will have to admit that I have not done any work on the Bricycle for nearly a year. I have logged more than 1000 miles on the first prototype with only one major problem. A extremely bad road broke the epoxy bond on the steering tube, but I was able to make it home and repair the joint. I purchased a 72 volt Lithium battery which I have only run at 36 volts wired in parallel. I have been able to cover 14 miles in this configuration and still reach over 20mph but there is little power for climbing hills.
On being “greener”
I have seen the now famous movie. I’ve read and heard various commentaries about “Global Warming.” Even if the scientists are only half right, it doesn’t sound good. Even though my city has been dying a slow economic death for the past 30 years due to the closing of many manufacturing industries, the city and its water are cleaner than they were when I was growing up, but the air is considered polluted from automobiles. I love the automobile. I used to race my father’s big Buick at the drag strip. I’ve owned my share. It is amazing how the sight of one of your favorites can bring back old memories or inspire you to create new ones. But all in all, it is a means to get from point A to point B. Consider how much it costs to own, operate, maintain, and insure an automobile; then consider the amount of time you actually spend using it. For a working person, the automobile is a huge expense, but we have been sold on the convenience and independence aspect of owning one. Independence from what?
Walk more often, ride a bicycle or tricycle and even try driving at 55mph again--I do. We in the US had done that before, when a courageous government told us we must in order to cut our dependency on foreign oil.
The Bricycle or similar vehicles may never catch on in the US, although they have been available in Europe and other countries for years. The auto industry will roll out its answers in one form or another, and I am certain that they will be beautiful, technological masterpieces and, of course, more expensive. Just remember point A to point B.
Whether we are willing to admit it or not, personal transportation is goingto change. It has already begun. If predictions of available global oil are correct, our supplies will last for about 30 more years at our current rate of consumption. I am not certain if these predictions even take into account the rapid growth of Asia and its likely demand for conventional automobiles or the demand created by current or future military operations around the globe, which consume huge amounts of oil. Hummers are not noted for their great gas mileage.
"Americans are addicted to oil." The man who made that statement leads by example, giving huge tax breaks to folks who purchase large, inefficient vehicles and minor tax incentives to those who purchase hybrid and electric alternatives. The popular solution to our present increased demand for oil is to drill for more wells, and when the cask is empty?
A greater investment in public transportation would help relieve much of the strain and inefficiency on our current transportation grid. Smaller and far more efficient automobiles would also help. I believe the Bricycle can be a first step towards a small, environmentally friendly commuting vehicle for use in cities and urban areas, but the Bricycle and similar types of transportation must prove to be reasonably safe and reliable before gaining acceptance. At least one thing about the Bricycle--if "big oil" becomes "big battery," I can still peddle the thing.
My design is largely based on Ohio BMV laws governing bicycles. The basic design (non-powered) meets all the requirements for a bicycle used on a roadway. The powered version will meet both Federal and Ohio State laws for a bicycle with an electrical power assist. These laws limit the speed to 20 mph on a flat, 750 watts, and use on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. The Bricycle will have an LED headlight, tail lights and stop light, turn signals (front and rear) and a horn of some kind.
When I started this project, gasoline in the US was less that $3.00 a gallon. In 2008 gas was over $4.00 a gallon in some parts of the country, prices have fallen below $3.00 for the time being but you can expect it to increase again. I do consider my design to be a solution. The batteries I plan to use are fairly inexpensive and can easily be recharged from any standard outlet in a few hours. There are health benefits through peddling if desired and far less impact on the environment in terms of manufacture and operation, on roads, bridges and landfills. I have no way of checking, but an auto manufacturer probably discards more material in the production process of one unit than I used to build my prototype.
More of my thoughts regarding this project are located on the ABOUT US page. Thanks for taking the time to view my site.