Boaz Frankel’s Un-Road Trip

Picking up Boaz at the train

Boaz Frankel is traveling all over North America on what he’s calling the Un-Road Trip. He’s trying to use as many unique modes of transportation as possible without using a gasoline powered car. This past Wednesday, Mohrgan and I picked up Boaz from the Kitchener train station in our pedal powered pickup truck. We took him back to Bicycle Forest headquarters where Natalie was cooking up a dinner that couldn’t be beat.

Heading to the Bicycle Forest for the night

The next morning, after a breakfast that couldn’t be beat, we took Boaz outside to try a variety of bicycles.

Boaz tries the Treadmill Bike

Photo by Natalie Mullin

Some, like the Treadmill Bike, he was brave enough to try. Others, like this M5 Low Racer, he opted to examine from a safer distance.

Boaz checks out the M5 Low Racer

Photo by Natalie Mullin

Eventually, Boaz settled on a penny farthing and rode it down the Iron Horse Trail to Mohrgan’s house where we had the Family Truckster waiting. Boaz, Mohrgan, Ted and I pedaled together on the Family Truckster destined for St. Jacobs.

Police examine the Family Truckster

Photo by Natalie Mullin

Along the way, we were stopped by the police, but only because the officer was so intrigued by our fancy looking bike.

Family Truckster bound for St. Jacobs

Photo by Evan Nisenson

We followed the Trans Canada Trail all the way to St. Jacobs where we met with Glen who had ridden his horse and buggy all the way from Winterbourne. As the rain started falling, Boaz and Evan climbed onto Glen’s buggy and headed 30 km up the road to the Humphrey’s house in Phillipsburg.

Boaz rides a Mennonite buggy

Laurel and Neil Humphrey were wonderful hosts. They cooked us a fantastic dinner and put us all up for the night.

Breakfast at the Humphrey's

The next morning, after another breakfast that couldn’t be beat. Boaz and I hopped on the Couchbike and headed off toward Stratford. Along the way, we passed Wayne Muma in his truck. He was so curious to check out our bike that he went home, grabbed his own bike and pedaled out to see us. It was great to meet someone so enthusiastic about our trip and our mode of transportation.

Wayne Muma hitches a quick ride on the Couchbike

We pedaled the Couchbike to the home of Cyril and Meg who’d left a cooler out for us packed with snacks. We ended up staying there for a while as we were visited by the local newspaper and the CBC.

Boaz and the Couchbike on CBC news

The CBC put together this piece for the 6 o’clock news.

As the news report says, the next step on Boaz’s journey was a 70km tandem ride to London. Boaz and I headed off on the BikeE E2 recumbent tandem and Mohrgan showed us the way on a Dekerf singlespeed. We reached London at around 6pm. Mohrgan and I had to bid Boaz farewell there. You can follow Boaz’s Un-Road Trip at: www.unroadtrip.com.

Brent and Boaz pedal the BikeE E2 recumbent tandem toward London

Photo by Evan Nisenson

One Response to “Boaz Frankel’s Un-Road Trip”

  1. Chilligan Says:

    So just like I do every Sunday morning I went to CBC.ca to see what region was playing Vinyl Cafe at the time. I immediately recognized the couchbike on a little thumbnail graphic – nice work!

    I have a couple questions and comments however 🙂

    1. If a breakfast can’t be beat and is followed by another breakfast that can’t be beat does that mean that they matched one another precisely? If so my hat is off to southern Ontario breakfast prep for its consistency and quality!

    2. Where does the CBC get off filming a video without including footage of the bikeforest proprietor?

    3. As important a feature as this is I would have hoped they could find a better file name than “dick-no-gas-090613.wmv” Dick No Gas?!? Seriously?

    4. Finally. What’s Boaz doing on a train? Seems contrary to what he’s trying to accomplish. Either go completely green or pick up a new file naming convention along the lines of Dick Just A Lil’ Bit ‘O Gas.

    Congrats Brent!

The Bicycle Forest :: Pimp My Rhoades Car

The Bicycle Forest had grown to the point where we felt it was time to invest in a vehicle that we could use to get the message out about our BikeCAD bicycle design software and the wide array of specialty bicycles that we have available for rent.

Although we don't believe in psychoanalyzing people based on what vehicles they may or may not drive, we do believe that when a corporation selects a car or truck for promotional purposes, it is vital that it select a vehicle that captures the personality and spirit of the company.

Of course, the first vehicle that came to mind for us was the Hummer by General Motors. The enormous body panels would serve as moving billboards, brandishing the Bicycle Forest logo wherever we go. We found the possibility of winning customer support through vehicular intimidation particularly alluring. Furthermore, the opportunity to associate ourselves with the military industrial complex made the Hummer an obvious choice for the Bicycle Forest.

Admittedly, the 16" of ground clearance and the Hummer's water fording capabilities had us wondering if we'd be paying for features that we don't really need. Then, we learned that the Hummer has a curb weight of 8114 lbs. "Who were we kidding?" we thought. Obviously, we'd be paying for thousands of pounds more than we'd ever need. Clearly, our decision to purchase a Hummer would not be based on practicality. It would be to make a statement about our dominance in the bicycle design software and bicycle rental industries. It only seemed fitting that we should dominate the highways and byways of North America with the same might that we exert in our own business.

Vehicular intimidation

Unfortunately, once we learned of the Hummer's abysmal fuel economy, we simply could not reconcile owning such a vehicle with our concern for the environment.

We examined several other options. Some had exhaust that smelled like french fries, others had no emissions at all. We particularly liked the idea of a zero emissions vehicle, until we found that most of these cars ran on electricity or hydrogen. Although we applaud the development of all forms of alternative energy vehicles, and we are happy to see electricity being generated by more environmentally friendly means, we weren't thrilled about the idea of creating even more demand for electricity with the purchase of our Bicycle Forest promotional vehicle.

Rhoades Car The zero emissions vehicle that most impressed us was the Rhoades Car. Equipped with a butterfly steering wheel, marine grade vinyl seats and molded black mag wheels, the Rhoades Car is the most well appointed car in its class.

By eliminating the engine, the automotive engineers at Rhoades Car have created the most fuel efficient car in America. The only drawback is the top end speed. The Rhoades Car is not fast enough for freeway travel. We've come to accept this limitation. At the Bicycle Forest, we believe that in addition to making our existing modes of transportation more environmentally friendly, we must also strive to change our transportation patterns by driving less and using more public transportation. By adopting the Rhoades Car as our official company vehicle, we feel that we are doing our part by not only driving an environmentally friendly vehicle, but also by scaling back on driving in general.

Pimped out Rhoades Car If there was anything about the Rhoades Car that didn't entirely suit our corporate image it may be its lack of rugged styling. Although we are not farmers, or heavy machinery maintenance workers, we very much wanted to associate our image with that of these hard working people. That's why we decided to Pimp our Rhoades Car.

To supe up our two passenger, long frame Rhoades Car, we started by welding together a chromoly steel frame in the style of a pickup truck and wrapping it with 30 gauge galvanized steel. We painted it John Deere yellow and mounted a plexiglass windshield, 55W head lights, LED tail lights and rear view mirrors. The finishing touch was a set of aftermarket hubcaps. The pimp job added an extra 138 lbs to the car, but it was definitely worth it because now we can send the same message that other corporations have sent with their promotional Hummers. "We're the Bicycle Forest, and nobody messes with us!"

Here is a public service announcement featuring the converted Rhoades Car.