Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Bikes

Sometime during last weekend’s bike race, Mayor Nutter announced a new and costly plan to build some 750 miles of bike trails throughout the greater Philadelphia area. We’ve already got around 250 miles completed, and, over the next 20 years, the rest will be made up with $12.5 million in annual funds (that’s $250 million dollars total), to connect pretty much every neighboring county in the tri-state area.

Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Ostensibly. But let’s back it up a bit. Are we really going to need bikes and their obligatory trails by the year 2032? We all mistakingly expected flying cars to be as standard as pasteurized milk by now, but we’re talking about another 20 years of post-internet innovation; for all we know, bikes could be the next rollerskates, that is, the next completely ridiculous form of transportation that only weird, lonely people use for an excuse to twirl about.

I’ll admit that nothing beats a bike for quick and easy transportation, but I’m going to qualify that statement with a whopping “yet.” Just check out some of these alternatives, most of which would not require an intricate system of bike trails, for further proof.

1. Segway P.U.M.A.: Somewhere between a smart car, segway and a meth-fueled, Atlantic City push-cart exists Segway’s P.U.M.A. The P.U.M.A. runs on electricity and its odometer is/will be your government-issed smartphone. The P.U.M.A may not replace your car, but just imagine a few dozen of these bad boys careening down Nutter’s bike paths; you can almost smell the pending the litigation.

2. Ringways: Ringways are sort of like monorails; they just require even more blinding trust in civil engineering. The passenger tube is propelled through separated rings such that a little less than half of the cabin moves forward with NOTHING BENEATH IT. The first passenger tube is propelled by a chain mechanism and an eletric motor, while the second is fueled by fucking jet fuel.

3. Peugeot HYmotion 3: The HYmotion 3 is essentially the P.U.M.A.’s older, more bad ass brother who gets laid, like, all the time. The thing gets 117 miles per gallon with low carbon emissions and judging by the background in this rendering, it can go really fast.

4. Wearable Motorcycle: This is the closest you’ll ever come to fulfilling your dream of becoming Axel from Twisted Metal. Strap into the comfortable exoskeleton and allow its on-board computer and 36 pneumatic muscles to interface with your body movements for what will surely be the most awkward form of transportation since that fateful maiden voyage on your younger cousin’s Heelys.

5. PAL-V ONE: Now we’re getting somewhere. The PAL-V ONE doesn’t need a quaint bike path to get around, because it’s a mini-helicopter and a car (car-copter). Though it runs on regular gas, the thing looks as though it’s been made from the souls of bicycles and the heart of a Dark Ice Dragon.

6. The Motocompo:  This gas-powered scooter was introduced by Honda in the early 80s, but it was presumably out-hyped by the non-existent hoverboard of Back to the Future. The Motocompo’s controls are contained within a removable carrying case and the whole thing folds into a unwieldy suitcase, so you don’t have to cram your Kryptonite lock into back pocket anymore, you hip son of a bitch.

7. The Martin Jetpack: This is easily mankind’s greatest achievement. Earlier versions of the Jetpack experienced a rough takeoff throughout the late 20th century. The idea was there, but jetpacking for a mere 12 seconds is measurably lamer than soaring majestically for 12 miles to the office (and blasting to your desk through a large glass window). The Matin Jetpack reportedly tops out at 64 mph and can fly for about 31 miles. Bonus: You can defecate on everyone waiting in traffic on I-76.

Photos courtesy Engadget, AutoBlogGreen, PAL-V

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