The 3 Strangest Things I've Seen on My Bike Commute

I ride the 10-mile length of the Minuteman Bikeway most days to work, racking up hundreds of trips and thousands of miles over the past three years. And, as I detailed in a recent article (The Rail-Trail Effect), I'm far from the only one on bike path each day.

Joggers, walkers, roller bladers, skateboarders, stroller pushers... I've spotted just about every non-motorized form of transportation you can think of. But there are three things I've seen that win the award for strangest sights.

Unicycle Training Wheels

Having made exactly one ill-fated attempted to ride a unicycle, I can attest to the difficulty of acquiring the skills of a successful one-wheel rider. It always made me wonder how anybody got started in this esoteric pursuit in the first place.

Now I have at least part of the answer. When I first spotted it on the bike path, I thought I was looking at a full-size adult riding a bizarre tricycle. Turns out the guy was riding a unicycle supported by a pair of small wheels that attached to the seat stem and extended out behind him.

Rand Ross Unicycle with Training Wheels

Stand-up Bicycle
The first time I spotted one of these I was utterly mystified. From a distance, it looked like an 8-foot-tall man was gliding smoothly and rapidly ahead of me on the bike path. As I got closer, the mystery deepened as I could see him pumping his legs, yet somehow his body wasn't bobbing up and down in response. It was my first encounter with an ElliptiGO.

These contraptions marry a gym elliptical machine with a bicycle to create a stand-up design that allows you to run in place as you power forward by two wheels. Looks like a great, low-impact workout (especially for jogging fanatics), but it doesn't come cheap. The basic model starts at $1,799 and they go up from there.

Helmet Mysteries
Lastly, and the one thing that most baffles me, is why some people ride with helmets on their heads yet don't buckle the strap under their chin. They might as well not be wearing a helmet at all, since an unsecured helmet will simply fly off in an accident and be essentially useless. I have seen this bizarre scenario dozens of times, and still can't figure it out.

Close runner-ups in the helmet category include people wearing their helmets backwards and cyclists riding along with their helmets dangling from their handlebars of backpacks as they go.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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