Saturday, April 18, 2009


Oregon Public Broadcasting - A husband and wife team are biking freight around downtown Portland, in an effort to replace trucks. Kristian Foden-Vencil caught up with the couple at a neighborhood grocery store. . .

Franklin and Kathryn Racine-Jones unload organic vegetables out of big insulated boxes on the backs of their tricycles. It sounds pretty unremarkable really -- until you see the size of those trike boxes. They're big enough to fit say . . . two-thirds of an upright piano. And each bike costs about $10,000.

Franklin Racine-Jones: "It has both front and rear brakes. The rear brakes are two disc brakes and the front is an hydraulic brake. We have a great bell here that not only let's people know we're coming, but it's fun and produces big smiles."

Kristian: "And you have a big battery here to help you up the hills."

Franklin Racine-Jones: "Right. It's a deep cycle marine battery. It weighs about 80 lbs, but it also has a tremendous amount of torque power."

Kathryn Racine-Jones: "This morning a huge semi came to our warehouse and dropped off say 1000 pounds of produce and then we ferry that out using our electric assist trikes so they don't have to go down there and people walking around downtown don't have to deal with big trucks in the urban core.". . .

The trikes make about 11 miles per hour, which is competitive with a truck -- especially if you include the time it takes to park one of those suckers downtown.

No comments: