Thursday, May 28, 2009

New York: Vehicularly Speaking

It was an action-packed day in New York full of five new modes of transportation. In the morning I took the subway out to Ozone Park- a neighborhood I never knew existed- to check out the headquarters of Worksman Cycles. I was joined by two of my New York buddies- Nanda and Danae- who helped film and photograph the day. Worksmans Cycles manufactures industrial tricycles for use in factories and warehouses, as well as food carts and some consumer bicycles as well. But Worksman Cycles wasn't inspired by the recent green movement- when they first started selling pedal powered carts they were trying to replace horses. They've been around since the late 1800s, and now a lot of eco-concious consumers are discovering them for the first time. Ironically, some of their biggest customers are the car companies who use the beefed-up trikes to move parts and boxes around their factories. Wayne, the president of the company, showed me around their production facility as he told me about the company's history and even let me go for a ride in one of their cargo tricycles.


Next up we headed over to Hammacher Schlemmer's only store. They had helped me on day one of the trip by providing one of their 14 MPH coolers, and I was excited to see what other modes of transportation I could try out. They didn't disappoint- I got on four new modes of transportation. First I joined a giant stuffed bear for a ride on a pedal-powered surrey (Price: $3,800).


Next up I checked out the Land Sailor in the window (Price: $999.95). It's a recumbent bike with a sail, and unfortunately due to it's placement I couldn't get very far, but the salespeople assured me that it could go very fast.


Then I hopped aboard the Off-road Pedal Buggy (Price: $1,200) and maneuvered around the store for a few minutes.


Lastly, I took a spin on their recumbent tricycle (Price: $399.95). They also have a bunch of other vehicles hanging from the walls and ceilings like their Seuss-like monocycle and this giant hamster ball that you can climb inside and roll around on water.


And now I'm back at my friend's apartment, getting ready for the Today show and figuring out what to wear. I think I'll go for the blue shirt. You can watch in a few hours to see if I changed my mind.

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