February 12, 2008 First came the dog-powered scooter, now inventor Mark Schuette has developed a dog-powered recumbent trike that employs the same "dog behind a steering wheel" configuration with the added stability offered by a sit-down trike design and twice the steering power and braking power of the scooter.
The original scooter enables the human to ride standing up whilst the dog is harnessed into a frame and subject to steering and braking. As the scooter requires the rider to stand upright and balance it was not particularly appealing to some users (such as the elderly or physically handicapped). The new trike adopts a tadpole design (two wheels in front) and has a harness space for a dog on each side of the rear wheels. Schuette’s inventions are the first dog pulled devices to place the dog behind a steering wheel. This is designed to give the rider precision steering control of the dog making it easier and safer to ride in an urban environment.
Although it has space for two dogs, the trike can be powered by just one. Additionally, the human assistance via pedaling offers a smoother ride than the kicking method on the scooter. It weighs about the same as a standard bicycle and takes only a small amount of pull/force to keep a steady speed once the rider pedals to get the vehicle rolling. The design of the trike also lends itself to mounting a hand crank method of propulsion, an attractive option for wheel chair athletes who need to use their hands/arms.
The trike, including a fender kit which protect pooch from coming into contact with the rear spokes, retails for USD$1100 plus shipping (around $150) and is available via the Dog-powered scooter website. The bolt-on dog rigging kit costs USD$200 per dog.
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