I was on a forum, lurking in on the lively debate about 10 percent alcohol found at some gas pumps. There were a diverse set of opinions. Some saw it as a step in the right direction, while others predicted the fall of civilization. As a rule, most bikers aren’t big on the idea of alternative fule sources for motorcycles. I mean we’re already balancing on two wheels and exposing ourselves to the elements in the process of achieving 45 to 50 miles per gallon.
And while a few bikers have explored the idea of electric bikes, they are a very small subset of the motorcycle-riding fraternity. I know a lot of bikers who work on their exhaust pipes, tuning them like fine pipe organs. Where the uninitiated may hear an aggravating roar, these greasy-handed virtuosos hear the music of the spheres. Not for them then, the quiet whine of an electric engine.
But electrons aren’t the only possible alternative power source available. Knocking around the Internet, I ran across an unusual tricycle built in France in 1875 called the Cynosphere..
Each rear wheel was large enough to house a circular cage with a dog in it. The dogs in the accompanying drawing look like Airedales to me. The site I found goes on to mention a super bike version driven by Great Danes, and a woman’s modle driven by poodles. The site also says that a group called the Society for the Protection of Animals managed to stop production of the machines. Somehow I’m more suspicious of performance issues than ethical qualms as the cause for this thing’s demise.
I don’t think that even the greenest of the Greens have offered anything like this in the 21st century. Too bad. It would be fun lurking in on a forum debating the performance characteristics of Old Roy, Purina and Alpo.
— Guy Wheatley