Imagine not having to sit in traffic on the way to work as you breathe in fumes and exhaust among a bunch of other cranky commuters. If only your bike were capable of floating over the water — then you wouldn’t have to sit in such stressful conditions. Good news: In the future, you may not have to.
Judah Schiller, is the founder of the BayCycle Project, the first U.S. organizing body and community for water biking. What is water biking, you ask? It’s basically biking on water. Schiller has set out to pioneer a new sport and commuting alternative that combines the excitement and health benefits of bike riding with the dynamic and ever-changing terrain of water.
Schiller thought of the idea when he learned there was no bike lane connecting residents of the East Bay to San Francisco. He wrote: "Although the new Bay Bridge has recently opened, it will take another $500 million and at least a decade to retrofit the western span of the bridge with a bike lane. The only way to actually ride a bike across the bay, I realized, is on water. And not just in San Francisco but around the globe, there are so many places where water has been a barrier to bikers instead of playground. That's when inspiration struck!"
Just imagine the possibilities. Like an open canvas, a body of water can offer endless aquatic adventures in the form of recreation and competition. Better yet, it can serve as an eco-friendly, body-pleasing way to commute to the city. In September, Schiller was the first man to ride a bike across the San Francisco Bay. In October, he rode across New York City’s Hudson River from Hoboken, N.J.
Rest assured, the bike is not sitting in the water; rather, it uses two large pontoons on either side of a road bike to float. As you pedal, the rear wheel turns a cylinder under the seat post, and that cylinder turns a rubber-housed cable. The cable goes down to the front wheel and clamps on under the front wheel, which is connected to a till and propeller.
Schiller wants BayCycle Project to bring water biking to the masses. He plans on launching in other U.S. cities, including Miami; San Diego; Los Angeles; and Portland, Ore., in 2013 and internationally by 2014.
Support Schiller through his Indiegogo campaign, which he started to raise money to create an easy-to-use, compact water bike "kit" that can attach to any bike regardless of frame size or construction. Check out his video: