Monday, December 31, 2012

6 Weird Transportation Methods

by: Mark Hill

Driving your car around town is pretty tedious, walking takes forever to get anywhere, biking or skateboarding makes anyone who isn’t a teenager look weird and public transit is full of hobos. Is there no method of everyday transportation that’s both efficient and enjoyable? Nope, there isn’t. Trust us, we checked. However, there are plenty of extremely weird methods that make up for their inefficiency with their complete lunacy. So the next time you’re stuck in an hour long traffic jam and the stereo in the car next to you is blasting “Dinosaur” on repeat, you should consider one of these alternatives.

1. Powerisers
Did you ever own a pogo stick as a child? Did you ever want to take your pogo stick to the extreme?! Well, probably not, because those things got old pretty fast, but regardless of what your childhood fantasies were, Powerisers are here to maybe answer them.
Powerisers are pretty much just springs that you strap to your legs, essentially turning you into a kangaroo. Except that kangaroos can’t do bitchin’ flips or suffer hilarious groin injuries. The company that sells Powerisers says they were originally developed by the aerospace industry, and while we find that claim dubious, we’re too busy filling out the order form to investigate so we’ll have to take their word for it. Sure, anyone using these things for an extended length of time will probably end up with a bad case of broken spine, but it would be worth it for the ability to get to work by doing front flips over all the cars that are waiting at red lights.

2. Champiot Ultra
The Champiot Ultra is a vehicle that combines all the physical labour of rowing with none of the natural beauty of being on open water. So if you’ve ever wanted to row through smoggy downtown traffic then you need to get yourself one of these babies. Plus, since the ad for the Champiot uses hip music in lieu of actual information, it pretty much guarantees that you’ll look cool when you’re riding it. So what are you waiting for?
The makers of the Champiot claim that it fills “a tremendous vacuum in the exercise market” by providing an “interesting alternative to going to the gym or jogging around the block.” The 1000 dollar price tag seems pretty steep for an “interesting alternative,” but then they also claim that this thing can be used on sidewalks, bike pathways, parks and beaches, so really it’s a small price to pay for that kind of stunning versatility. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be fit for actual roads, but if you’re willing to fork over all that money in the first place you probably aren’t the sort of person who would let minor technicalities like that stop you.

3. Treadmill Bike
If there’s one form of exercise even more tedious than rowing it’s running on a treadmill, so naturally someone decided to make a vehicle based around it. Now you can combine the intensity of a treadmill workout with the convenience of a bicycle, and you can get it for the small cost of looking like a complete idiot in public! (Also, you’ll need 2500 dollars.) But hey, if you don’t believe us, then just let this poorly made commercial do the talking!
OK, so all this Frankenstein monster really seems to do is make jogging needlessly more difficult, but at least now you can gain the respect of people who own cars. Not their actual respect, mind you, we’re just saying that legally they won’t be able to run you off the road. That probably won’t stop them from trying though, so be sure to wear your helmet when you hit the streets with your Untreadmill, The Vehicle That Should Not Be™.

4.  HumanCar
No, the HumanCar isn’t some terrible, Soylent Green style hybrid that uses fuel made of people. That’s coming next year. The current model HumanCar is a four person road vehicle that runs on pure manpower. It’s sort of like a handcar, except you’re in constant physical danger of getting crushed by an actual car, as well as constant emotional danger of being laughed off the road. Its makers claim it can go upwards of 60 mph, which is pretty impressive, and it also features a “bi-lateral human power interface,” which is a polite way of saying “there’s no engine, so start working those puny biceps, tubby.”
Unfortunately, it’s not commercially available yet, although there are opportunities to get your hands on a prototype. The manufacturer’s website says they hope the HumanCar will be commonplace by 2068, and while we admire their pro-green attitude we have to worry about a company that isn’t expecting to turn a profit for another five and a half decades.

5. PedalPub
If you love going to multiple bars during the same night but have had one too many drunk driving “incidents,” then the PedalPub is for you! It’s a ten person bike (plus room for six freeloaders) designed to look like a bar, and any exercise you get from moving the unholy combination around town is immediately negated by all the beer you chug once you reach your destination. Or just drink on your way there, and cut out the middleman. The choice is yours!
The PedalPub isn’t something you can buy, unfortunately, although technically nothing’s stopping you from building a knockoff in your garage. Those of you who are less cheap can go to Minnesota and book a tour on the real deal. It’s the perfect fit really, because what else is there to do in Minnesota besides get wasted?
Sadly, between the cost (up to 190 bucks per hour) and location, this isn’t something that can replace your daily commute. But we think the people behind the PedalPub are visionaries; there may just be one lonely vehicle in Minnesota today, but it won’t be long before you can hop on one of these things in any major city and drink all the way to the office. At least, that’s the beautiful future we’re imagining.

6. Martin Jetpack
Everybody’s wanted a jetpack at some point in their lives. If we have to explain why that is, then you’re dead inside, and while you have our condolences you aren’t going to get anything out of the following information so you might as well stop reading now. We’ll get right to the point: A company in New Zealand has developed a jetpack that they want to make commercially available by late 2010.
Is it affordable? No. 
Efficient? No. 
Quiet? No. 
Practical? No.
Despite all of that, is it awesome? F*#$. Yeah.
For the cost of 50,000 New Zealand pounds, you can purchase a device that supposedly can go up to 60 mph while reaching a maximum height of 2400 metres. You could have the most badass trip to work ever, and be the envy of everyone at your office. You could attempt to become a noisy, clumsy and generally ineffective Rocketeer. Or you could just fly over your neighbour’s backyard, yell “Look at me b#$%*, I’m on a god d#$% jetpack!” and then crash through his bedroom window and make love to his wife. The possibilities are endless. Endless, and amazing.

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