Two for one

I had a fun realization yesterday. As part of my prototype roadmap, I plan to build a smaller version of Project Streetliner using bicycle components. This was originally intended to be a test platform just for steering/leaning geometry, suspension, and handling characteristics. I hadn’t even made up my mind as to whether or not to go to the full trouble of actually making it pedal powered. In general, I imagined that I’d just sort of slop something together as a proof of concept. But upon deeper consideration, I’m re-evaluating this prototype step for the better in two key ways. First, I’d gain a ton of valuable experience by going ahead and building a streamliner shell for that bicycle prototype. Not only would it be the place to perfect my fiberglass construction skills, it would force me to solve a lot of control linkage, entrance and exit issues, and other problems on a simpler vehicle before tackling the more complex road version. But what’s even more awesome than the learning value is that if I take the time to build this prototype to a good level of quality, I’ll actually have my very own tilting Velomobile — something that to my knowledge doesn’t exist in the marketplace right now. When all was said and done and Project Streetliner was on the road, I’d have two fantastic alternative vehicles. One perfect for commuting and errands on the open road, the other perfect for cruising the bike paths of the twin cities (and possibly being a perfectly viable commuting vehicle all its own depending on where I’m headed). That’s very exciting. I’ve even thought of a name: the Pathliner.

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