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Rocket Trike finishes 2,500 mile journey for renewable energy across USA

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December 10, 2010

Tom Weis calls for a 100 percent green electricity grid for America by 2020  (Photo: Kim R...

Tom Weis calls for a 100 percent green electricity grid for America by 2020 (Photo: Kim Ream)

On December 7, renewable energy advocate Tom Weis concluded a 10-week ride across America in his pedal-powered hybrid electric-assist “Rocket Trike." He collected opinions and signatures from people on “Main Street, USA” in support of a 100 percent green electricity grid by 2020 to present to key members of congress, the President and First Lady.

The ride began in Boulder, Colorado on September 12th, and Weis finished his 2,500 mile (4,023km) solo journey across eleven U.S. states ten weeks later at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC on the 69th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing – a date he finds fitting, as an event that united America in the call to war. He wants to unite America now in the fight to save our planet.

Weis is promoting a 100 percent renewable electricity grid for the U.S. by 2020, a goal first proposed by former Vice President Al Gore. He likens the goal to Kennedy's ambitious moon shot program declaration in 1962, in which he predicted that we would reach the moon by the end of the decade. “I believe 2010 is the critical year for America to set the agenda for the coming decade in response to an economy in meltdown and a climate that is spiraling out of control,” says Weis, who cites massive unemployment, energy dependence, economic turbulence and climate instability as fears shared by people he met on his journey. “This ride is about the American people 'taking back our power' by demanding a green industrial revolution that will put unemployed Americans back to work, re-establish our role as world economic leader, and help ensure future generations a livable planet...we need to dispense with Washington’s timid 'inside the beltway' mentality and start dreaming big dreams once again.”

The trike is a recumbent tricycle wrapped in an aerodynamic body, known as the Go-One³, and is produced by German manufacturer Beyss.

Enclosed in a lightweight carbon-fiber shell, it weighs about 60 pounds (27 kg) without the motor, which was upgraded to a 350 Watt Bionx electric motor for long travel days and tough hills, though it does not require a license or registration being fully-legal for roads and bike paths. Weis also upgraded it with solar-powered LED turn signals, solar powered headlamps and rear lamp, and a mounted, solar-charged iPhone and camera. Features of the Go-One³ include: a built-in windshield, luggage rack, carbon-fiber rear wheel fork, joy-stick steering, drum brakes, ventilation inlets, splash-free wheel housings, a removable roll-up canvas top for warmth in cold weather or convertible riding in the warm, and importantly, a seat that is comfortable enough to sit on for long ride days.

“I’ve reached speeds of 20 mph on pedal power alone, but average closer to 10 mph. While it’s definitely tougher pedaling uphill than an upright bike, it shoots down hills like, well, a rocket,” said Weis.

"Politicians won't lead until we build a citizens movement powerful enough to challenge the might of the fossil fuel industry. That's what this ride is building towards,” said ride backer Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth.

Echoing Weis's war-cry, ride sponsor Lester Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute and author of World on the Edge said, "During World War II, America completely restructured its industrial economy not in decades, but in months, and we can do it again."

9 Comments

Yawn

Michael Mantion
10th December, 2010 @ 04:12 pm PST

@ Michael Mantion

Your comment speaks volumes about your character. While this man is out there doing something you sleep your life away fat and oblivious, yet I'm sure you are proud.

fofu
11th December, 2010 @ 08:57 am PST

These type of activities will promote Renewable Energy.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
12th December, 2010 @ 09:00 am PST

. 2,500 miles in ten weeks? seriously? this is an average of 1.43 miles an hour. i can walk faster than this. this is jimmy carter amateur nonsense; someone willingly building and spending time and money promoting their ability to cross country slower than i can walk.

come back to me when you get your little trike to cross the country in 4 days. with no gimmiks and no pedals. just electricity. ...it's the batteries stupid.

zeev

Facebook User
12th December, 2010 @ 08:14 pm PST

"...it does not require a license or registration being fully-legal for roads and bike paths."

Unfortunately, not true. This comes from thinking the US is a monolithic entity. The fact is we have 50 different states, all of which have their own laws in regard to electric bicycles. Some, like California, are quite friendly to the gadgets. Others are anything but. Pennsylvania, for instance, considers them to be mopeds, so they require license, registration and insurance. Idiotic, but true.

Gadgeteer
12th December, 2010 @ 09:23 pm PST

@Zeev Kirsh

"2,500 miles in ten weeks? seriously? this is an average of 1.43 miles an hour."

Well hello stupid.........

Try factoring in time spent eating, sleeping, doing PR interviews, repairs and maintainance, setting up a daily camp or hotel..

I'd also bet that he would mostly ride in the early morning or late afternoon - which is best on long trips....

I'd say that he is probably putting in about 4 or 5 hours a day - not 24 hours a day of non stop cycling, 7 days a week....

I'd hate to call you a tool but......

I personally commend his efforts and achievements.

Mr Stiffy
13th December, 2010 @ 12:48 am PST

Facts are ugly things that purist idealists ignore at our peril. Using Spain as an example, for every "green" job created, two jobs were lost in the energy industry. Since we don't have a very big supply of green energy, we'll have to step up the use of non-green energy to create the green infrastructure, greatly increasing human contribution to global warming (if you believe in that concept). A national interconnected energy grid opens the door to an attack or accident that shuts down the entire country, so a more local, distributed system is safer and more easily maintained. The technology isn't capable of producing the kind of green energy needed in the near term, indicating a need for more research. Comparing this to the Apollo program is nonsense, since the basic technology was already there when Kennedy made his announcement. This is more like the Manhattan project, but with more uncertainty.

Pat Kelley
14th December, 2010 @ 05:48 am PST

The aerodynamics of that thing look as though you could fit it with a 250cc engine, and pull an easy 100 mpg at highway speeds. You would need slightly heavier wheels and tires for rough roads, but all in all I can see the practical benefits to the bodywork and it could be quite a useful concept. When we come up with "cold fusion" powerplants, it will be a practical concept as a pure electric. You really do need a vehicle capable of a sustained 70-80 mph as a cross country device.

Oh, I forgot where I read this, but did you know the polution caused in the production of each individual electric vehicle is far greater than the pollution that it supposedly will not produce in its usage? Just sayin'.

Chris Blake
14th December, 2010 @ 08:42 am PST

What part of this vehicle has anything to do with rockets?

PizzaEater
15th December, 2010 @ 09:18 am PST
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