Scott rides his bicycle across a small pond. Next up: The Ohio River.
If you didn’t know, I rode a bicycle around the world, and the most popular question was: “How did you ride a bike across the ocean?” My favorite joke was to say: “I just put extra air in the tires.” Now the joke has come true. In fact, I had to fly. I made up the miles by zigzagging across land, but the gap between has always bothered me. Now I get to fill that gap.
My adventure this week included riding my bicycle on a local pond. I rigged it with a Shuttle Bike Kit that my sponsor at Texas Flange gave me. You could call it a “water bicycle” or by the more fancy name “aquatic velocipede”. This a new invention, but not a new idea. See some old-fashioned pictures below of other aquanauts.
Originally, I wanted to cycle down to the Gulf of Mexico on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers like they used to float barrels of bourbon to New Orleans. However, many factors have made this to be a bigger adventure than planned. After some research, I’ve discovered the rivers are much more dangerous than they appear; and I’m not sure the Shuttle Bike is efficient or durable enough to make the trip. For now, I will attempt to cross the Ohio River from Ohio to Kentucky. I believe I will be the first person to ride from one state to another on a bicycle over a river.
Stay tuned. The weather has been horrible for weeks. It has been raining often, which may flood the river and cause the flow to exceed the bike’s cruising speed of 6 km/h. Even more concerning is the wind. I’m concerned the pontoons will turn my water bike into a sailboat.
This is a water bicycle race or nautical cycle competition in 1914 on Lake Enghien, France. Berregent piloted by Austerling. Press photograph the Meurisse Agency. Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France.
The design of these boats from 100 years ago is very similar, the main difference being the lack of plastic and rubber.