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Bicyclist Finds New Way To Ride the Rails
"Riding on seldom-used rural branch lines and abandoned tracks is safer than riding on most roads. I've ridden 20 to 30 thousand miles without a close call. I can't say that about riding my ordinary bicycle," states Richard Smart, inventor of the Railcycle add-on frame that lets any bicycle ride the rails.
Railcycle bolts to the front and rear forks of the bike. It consists of an extender bar that reaches between the tracks. A set of wheels just ahead of the bike hugs the rail the bike is on and a set of wheels at the end of the extender bar ride the opposite rail. A nylon net stretched between the triangular frame can be used to carry a sleeping bag and pack.
Smart says the Railcycle can be removed from the track in a few seconds if a train comes. He feels you're much more likely to get hit by a train at a railway crossing when riding on roads. However, he's encountered resistance from railway officials.
Because of problems selling the Railcycle, Smart has had to hold the device off the market. He's looking to sell the idea to owners of abandoned rail lines as a commercial entertainment device which they could then rent to individuals.
Smart says the idea isn't new. In fact, Sears and Roebuck at one time listed a similar device in their catalog. "I've shown the Railcycle to many farmers and ranchers during my travels. I helped one hog farmer in Kansas rig up his own."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard C. Smart, Railcycle, 3502 Buckskin Road, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814 (ph 208 765-2831).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3