What could be more fun than gliding along on an eco-chic bicycle? How about shooting through the skies in a pedal-powered monorail capsule! A bunch of entrepreneuring New Zealanders has created just such a human-powered monorail system, known as the Shweeb. Their creation does double duty, acting not just as an innovative transportation system, but also an amusement ride. Are our cities the next step?
The technology behind the Shweeb is remarkably simple – the only infrastructure required is a network of interconnected single rails. A number of pods are hung from this these lines, which are powered by the people sitting inside them. In principle, these pods are no different than recumbent bicycles – they can achieve close to 25 mph, are comfortable to use, and can be used by nearly anyone.
Although we don’t expect to see cities connected by pedal-powered monorail systems anytime soon, there are a number of applications where they could be useful. Think of guided tours through natural parks, scenic routes, adventure camps, and developments that require large pieces of land and a reasonable amount of population.
For now the system is in use on Schweeb’s grounds in New Zealand. If you are feeling adventurous, feel free to visit them at Ngongotha, New Zealand.