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21 December 2010 No comments

A Time of the Year for Dropping Pounds.

Curiosities Bicycles
A Time of the Year for Dropping Pounds.

As one of cycling’s great innovators, were John Brooks alive today he would doubtless have been a visitor, if not exhibitor, earlier this year at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen. And chances are, his first port of call would have been the "Inventors’ Corner", where those of inquisitive disposition frequently have ample opportunity to muse upon Plato’s truism regarding necessity's maternal nature.

One wonders, for example, what he might have made of the "Ruder-Rad", shown above, which I captured on film while browsing the stands in September.

Readers possessing only a passing familiarity with die schöne deutsche Sprache should be advised that this is a bicycle not in any way less polite than other bicycles, but one which allows the user by means of a pump-action handlebar to supplement his pedaling with a rowing action (rudern - to row), so to speak, as the need or desire should arise.

Follow this link, and click the video box in the upper right hand corner of the screen to see one being ridden.

On straight roads, its inventor assures us, a rider may increase his maximum speed by up to six miles per hour. Moreover, sharp cornering and rough surfaces seem to present a lesser challenge than one might reasonably assume.

Nevertheless, given the creator’s assertion that it requires the additional use of muscles not usually deployed in cycling, the "Ruder-Rad“ would appear to have been built with the separation of calories from rider foremost in mind, and thus possibly better described as an 'exercise bicycle' rather than a bicycle, per se. As to the machine’s success in that regard, at least, one feels confident in conveying a Jolly gut gemacht, Jungs! on Mister Brooks’ behalf.

And anyway, at a time of year renowned for people overdoing it at the table, most of us should be more than happy to take the road on a machine promising a higher-than-normal 'burn-rate' some time over the holidays, no?

If you don't have access to a Ruder-Rad, we advise getting out for a spin on something else with two wheels. And getting out of the saddle, too!

The make of which we hope we can take as read. Happy Christmas to all our readers.