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Old 10-04-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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This May Be A Horribly Stupid Question: Bicycle as tow vehicle

I am just wondering if there is an way it might even be possible to tow an airstream with a bicycle. I know there's an old famous black and white photo of a guy doing it, but I was wondering if people thought it was actually possible.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Not in real life,no. The first tiny grade you would come to, the trailer would take over and you would be the one being towed.

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Old 10-04-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
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Superman could do it!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Maybe a gutted single axle of the vintage type. I would think a headwind might even bring you to a halt. I would love to see someone try it. Bicycles have many gears these days :-)
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:17 PM   #5
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Of Course

This bicycle definitely could.

Rocket powered bike - YouTube


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Old 10-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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Here is an example more like what you were asking about.

Airstream Towed By Bike - Can-Am RV - YouTube

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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: This May Be A Horribly Stupid Question: Bicycle as tow vehicle

The answer is yes, and it was done by several members of the Vintage Airstream Club at the WBCCI International Rally in 1999 held in Dayton, OH. The trailer was a 1948 Airstream 22' Liner. The trailer had no fluids on board and was empty. The bicycle utilized for towing was a standard men's mountain bike with an added battery and trailer brake controller.



In this photo, Clyde Wagner (owner of the rig) is demonstrating the technique. Later, several other VAC members gave the combination a try including Tom Howarth as well as four others. As an observer, it was obvious that it was very difficult to keep the rig progressing along anything close to a straight line. I believe that similar demonstrations have taken place at several rallys during the years since the Dayton International.

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:22 AM   #8
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In the original photo the rider was a pro racer of the day...He was a professional don't try this at home...

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
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As an observer, it was obvious that it was very difficult to keep the rig progressing along anything close to a straight line.


Kevin
This is due to the fact that it takes a lot of energy, brain-body coordination, and jerking around with the handle bars to keep a bicycle upright until it gets moving fast enough for the wheel's gyroscopic properties to start helping. The only one shown so far that would have enough speed to get out of that mode is the rocket bike. However I'm pretty sure the trailer would need a blast deflector/heat shield.

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Old 10-05-2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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ahhh, superman don't exist, do he?

152 MPH Pedal Bicycle



Olympic Cyclist and IRONMAN triathlon winner, John Howard set a 152.2 Miles per Hour speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah on July 20, 1985. He is drafting in the wake of a 500 Horsepower Streamliner. This type of human powered record is called motor pacing. The pace vehicle was modified by adding a large tail fairing to the 337 MPH record holding Vesco Streamliner. The fairing keeps the wind off John and reduces the aerodynamic drag he is pedaling against to near nothing.

This type of record was invented by Charles "Mile-a-Minute Murphy" who drafted a train to set a 60 MPH record at the turn of the century. A mile of plywood sheets was attached to the railroad ties, so Charles would have a smooth surface. He had to be lifted onto the train just before they ran out of the plywood surface!

The previous record holder at 138.8 MPH set in 1973 was physician, Dr. Allan Abbott, a cycling enthusiast and motorcycle racer.

poster's note: Mile a Minute Murphy's "turn of the century" was 1900; not 2000.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:26 AM   #11
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Well, just continuing this wherever it will go...

There are a number of RVs (using the term loosely) intended to be towed by motorcycles. Most are pop-ups, and the lightest weigh around 200 pounds:

Open Road Outfitters, Motorcycle Trailers and Campers, Motorcycle Hitches, and Trailer Parts
Roadman Campers, Motorcycle Camper, Motorcycle Trailer

There are also teardrop trailers that are small and light, around 400 pounds and up:

Teardrop Trailers, Teardrop Campers - Little Guy Trailers

This pushes the definition of an RV since none of them have systems. Usually the sine qua non of an RV is considered to be provisions for sleeping, sanitation, storage of cold food, cooking, light, and heat.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #12
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hmmm, maybe Superwoman?

There is a 60 year young woman, lives in Brush Prairie, WA; completed an interesting bicycle ride this past year: she rode a 100 mile bike ride in one day-in Hawaii. Then, a 100 miler in California on the next day. And so on. Until 50 days and 50 US States, later, she completed her series of 100 mile bike rides-50 100 milers in 50 days in 50 US States. Pulling an airstream doesn't seem so daunting, does it? Humans are amazing.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:37 AM   #13
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ok, where's Lance Armstrong when ya need him?

Now there's a guy who could pull a fully loaded 34 footer, I'll bet. Put him and a coupla other olympic heros on a multi-person bike and I'd bet that they could do it easily.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #14
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You can do it, but you will have to buy a $3500 hitch to prevent sway.
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