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Going green on the greens - the Mow Cycle pedal-powered riding mower

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March 12, 2010

The Mow Cycle human-powered riding mower (Photo: Justin Steiner, Dirt Rag magazine)

The Mow Cycle human-powered riding mower (Photo: Justin Steiner, Dirt Rag magazine)

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If the stereotype is to be believed, guys who use gas lawn mowers would love to someday own a riding mower - after all, few things could be more macho than doing circuits of your lawn sitting on a miniature tractor with spinning blades on the bottom. But what about suburbanites who use non-polluting push mowers? What bigger and better type of lawn mower can they fantasize about? Until recently, that would have been a hard question to answer, but now the solution is here... yes, it’s the human-powered Mow Cycle riding mower.

The Mow Cycle is essentially a heavy-duty recumbent tricycle with a reel mower on the bottom. So far, only one exists. It was created by New Hampshire bicycle-builder Ted Wojcik and his son Cody, a mechanical engineer. Wojcik told us that it was inspired by a request from a client who claimed to have “the world’s greatest talent for blowing up gasoline-powered lawn mowers.”

This client had been using a reel mower towed behind an old mountain bike, but contacted Ted about upgrading. The Mow Cycle was the result. It has apparently been successfully mowing lawns since last August.

In February, the Mow Cycle was displayed at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Richmond, Virginia. “It has created an overwhelming amount of interest since the showing,” said Wojcik, “It would be almost impossible to ignore the potential.”

To that end, Ted and Cody are now trying to raise capital to go into production. The current trike has an internally-geared five-speed rear hub with a coaster brake, which helps keep the fiddly bits from getting clogged with grass clippings. Wojcik plans to used a fixed gear rear hub on future models, so they can be pedaled backwards when needed.

If you’ve got a lot of grass to cut, a desire to stay in shape, and a reluctance to pollute, the Mow Cycle could be for you. It’ll also make the other guys on your block green with envy.

Via Dirt Rag

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
10 Comments

Nothing new. There are pictures floating around of at least one cobbled together in the 1970s. The problem then as now is that it takes a lot of effort and time to use one. Regular lawn mowers have several horsepower. An untrained human can only sustain 0.1hp. Big difference.

Gadgeteer
13th March, 2010 @ 09:09 am PST

I have lost a lot of respect for Gizmag for even mentioning this "invention". Not only is it totally impractical but the point of machines is to enhance our lives not make them a total nightmare.

thollarn
15th March, 2010 @ 06:00 am PDT

For all you biking buddies check this out....

John J. Mena
15th March, 2010 @ 06:05 am PDT

I like mine better.

Years ago I patented a "Orbiting Lawnmower With Clippings Receptacle".

It was a circular hopper with an orbiting lawnmower that dumpled the grass, leaves, gumballs, etc into the hopper, one revolution advanced the whole body one blade width.

It was slow, but adding a remote controle I could leave it unattended for hours. At rthe end of the row of mowing, there was a trip mechanism that advanced the direction of the next row to be mowed.

Phil.Poulos
15th March, 2010 @ 07:09 am PDT

Its a great idea work exercise and play at the same time. I think it counts an invention even if the technologies been around for years its takes some putting it all together. Still a Idea maybe add a helper motor like the electric pedal bikes and a solar panel (sun shade) later and i can see me wasting my time productivly all summer

Robert O'Neal
15th March, 2010 @ 08:12 pm PDT

LOVE IT!

When I get a lawn, I'm gonna get one of these - hahaha!

Mark Clulow
15th March, 2010 @ 09:52 pm PDT

Cant wait!

Facebook User
16th March, 2010 @ 07:55 am PDT

-No Spirit of 76-

Spirit of 76---I got a good question for you.

How many horsepower does it take for my 10 year old to push the "upright" reel mower that cuts our grass? I'm guessing (because I don't know) less than .1hp sustainable. Silly. You're answer?

I think it's a great idea and hopefully our obese/unoptimistic country finds some good use for it.

Jonez
16th March, 2010 @ 11:31 am PDT

Yeah... it's an interesting idea..... especially if you keep your lawns mown and short and the ground isn't a bog after 2 weeks of heavy rain......

Me? I like to wait until the grass is about 1 or 2 feet high and then mow it - cause I live on a farm.

That way I only have to do it 3 times a year.

Using this? Ugghhh fat chance.

Mr Stiffy
16th March, 2010 @ 06:45 pm PDT

I was seriously considering one of these. If I had been able to try one on grass I may have gone with it. See youtube videos of owners.

I went with plug in electric, I've become very accustomed to using it. The battery version would have been heavier to push in addition to more of a storage hassel than the plug in.

The fiskar is supposedly much easier to push than other reel mowers. But I think a key factor is in it's name "Momentum" pushing short distances to get around something may not be much fun, but I've no first hand experience.

http://www2.fiskars.com/Gardening-and-Yard-Care/Products/StaySharp-Reel-Mowers

Dave B13
14th November, 2013 @ 06:53 am PST
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