Hey man, nice TWIKE!

After work today, I ran into (not literally) one of our computer guys, M@. Our relationship started off a bit bumpy because right after my promotion was official, I came into work that night and moved into my new office. LOL - What can I say, I get antsy with transition and just feel comfortable having all that stuff done and out of the way. Plus the new office is much bigger : )

Needless to say, I jumped the gun and the computer tech guys weren't ready to set up my new computer, the internet port wasn't working properly, and basically I caught them off guard. After a bit of email to-and-fro between the main tech guy and our associate director, things were "settled." Fortunately, I ran into two of the guys over lunch that same day and went over to them to apologize for what I did. They took it well and said they should be able to get to it that afternoon.

Well, M@ and I ended up chatting it up while he set up my computer, and let's just say, we have a bunch of nerdy common interests to seal over any troubled cracks in our professional relationship. It was actually a bit uncanny how many TV shows or book series that he mentioned that I'm also into. So now we're basically the best friends on earth.

Anyway, back to this afternoon at the elevators. We're chit-chatting on the way down, and Mama Bean parts ways with us. M@'s all, "where are you off to?" Taking the bus to the shuttle lot, I respond. "Want a ride there?" To which I'm all, hecks yeah.

Come to find out, his mode of transport 'round town is an electric/human-powered hybrid. It's called a TWIKE, which basically sounds like Elmer Fudd named it. But you know, it's German. Those crazy kids with their language!

He owns one of less than a dozen TWIKE's in the US. Most of them are in Europe, natch. And they cost quite a bit of dough. Nevertheless, it is a cool set of wheels! He has it parked right in front of the YMCA. He pulls the electric cable from the building and shows me how to get inside the cockpit. You can't step on the floor because of it's light body construction. And you feel like you're riding in the future.

It can run either completely electric or you can pedal to ease the drain on the batteries. It can run pure electric for about 40 miles,
which extends under pedal power. He got it up to 50 MPH once, he said, which seemed crazy!

The controls are more like that of an airplane / sail boat. And there's this neat little control panel in the center that reminds me of the time circuits from Back to the Future.

The TWIKE turned quite a few heads and produced many smiles. It drives on all the regular streets because it's classified as a motorcycle. I'd be a bit afraid of being clobbered by Soccer Mom in her Monstrosity or even worse, a bendy bus. But M@ piloted the TWIKE with ease. It was a bit bumpy on the rougher spots but otherwise accelerated smoothly and quietly like any good electric engine should. And the braking system is regenerative, so stop and go traffic made the batteries rather happy.

The ride was an enjoyable and exciting end to my day. M@ said he's on the waiting list for a new one, which he's been twiddling his thumbs over for 2 years. Each TWIKE is hand built, so production is quite limited.

As I watched him skim away, I overheard a bus driver waiting at the lot calling out to a pedestrian, "No, no. He's pedaling it. It has pedals." They probably thought it was some fancy enclosed tricycle. But then again, I guess it sorta is.

5 comments:

Lorrie said...

Wow!! That TWIKE is quite interesting. Very cool that you got a chance to ride in one. Still seems so odd, but neat!

Allie D. said...

That is so AWESOME! How friggen ingenious!

M@ sounds like a fantastic guy!

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Love it, though don't recall seeing any in two trips to Berlin this year (but cars very small and lots of efficient energy use, such as escalators are all human-activated). Cool twike (not twink).

Army Mom said...

Wow, Chwis, that is reawwy coowl!

What a neat thing to be able to say that you rode in one!

Bubz The Troll said...

With a little time and money you could probably build one yourself if you're of the MAKER-ish persuasion. I'd like to build a electric/human-powered hybrid lawnmower someday when I have my own house and yard.