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Bike to the Future!
For those of you who have been waiting for the Back to the Future DeLorean or Hoverboard -- or even The Jetson's flying car -- the bike beat them all in the floating personal vehicle race (I'm not including planes or helicopters). And, of course, the bike won! The bicycle was invented before the automobile after all.
To give you some background, many advances were made in internal combustion engine technology during the time the bicycle was being developed but the bike was patented before the car. Karl (von) Drais, from Germany, patented a two-wheeled contraption in 1818. It was known as the running machine. Later in the 1860s, two Frenchman advanced the bicycle by adding cranks to the front wheel. The first practical automobile was built in 1885 by Karl Benz, and he patented the gasoline-fueled car in 1886.
But back to the flying bike! The Hoverbike was invented over the last two and half years by Australian mechanical designer Chris Malloy in his garage. It's made of carbon fiber and, yes, has a small engine and propellers -- but it flies and is a bike! You, too, can pedal around the skies, if you can even pedal this contraption, for a cool $40,000. Though, I recommend you wait till it's tested a bit more. For now, Malloy tests the Hoverbike while it is tied to the ground.
I'm sharing this invention in the spirit of the "flying car dream" we all had as children and the high school semester we all read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. However, in contrast to my seven-year-old flying car dream and Huxley's imagination, I'm happy the Hoverbike is the first vehicle that hovers. I'm glad because, really, E.T.'s flying bike is much cooler than any flying car any day of the week.