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  1. #1
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    Animal Petal Power! /crazy invention

    hello forum,

    I have been very disappointed with the amount of further development that would be needed for a overhauled American infrastructure to be an ethically green nation. Personally I am closer on the tribalism side of the environmentalist spectrum than the Green Industry inc. side.

    I asked myself a question a year ago. How can the bicycle be improved upon to add more power and less human work and be more of a replacement for a car?

    My imperfect conclusion was that we have to combine the power of animals with the efficiency of the bicycle. To date, the most efficient use of energy for transportation.

    So with no experience in either animals or bicycle repair or building my quest began.

    My invention is a tandem attachment for a harnessed dog to petal along with the bicycler. I have not gotten this to work yet but am searching for people that may be on the same level of innovation/crazyness as myself to provide insight.

    The only obstacle from making this work I believe is training the dog to like the invention and not be scared and frightened like a little kid is after a first attempt at ridding a bike.

    Heres is a link to an application submission with pictures I sent further explaining what is I have built.

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YJEG5NMD

    If nothing comes from it, learning to weld was cool.

  2. #2
    FREE SSFG
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    we shouldn't make animals pay for our mistakes.

    EDIT: unless you are talking about flowers it's pedal. You would get the animal to pedal not petal. Which doesn't make much sense as a dog isn't stronger than a human and bicycles are designed for human physiology/anatomy. Just get a recumbent or build a bike with a trailer.

  3. #3
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    We have been using animal power before agriculture. Many breeds are dependent on our cohabitation with them. I have been very careful with my dog friends. It may run directly up against what you believe but dogs love to run and pull and work for humans.

  4. #4
    Space Dust
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    If you killed off 90% of the people on Earth we could go back to animal power and a "green tribalism".

  5. #5
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    i hope the dog you try to teach this to bites you.

  6. #6
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    I don't really want this to turn into a philosophical debate on this thread but I would be happy to join you on another.

    "i hope the dog you try to teach this to bites you."

    Dogs, like humans, are pack animals and want to do things as a team. The huskies that pull dogsleds naturally want to pull and work as a group. In the same way, the dogcycle works. I haven't forced the dog into any uncomfortable position that caused him to growl or bite. Please take your passion for protecting animals and apply it to a place where society has threatened their existence.

  7. #7
    Member JonH's Avatar
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    I see syncing up how fast you're going and how fast the dog is going being an issue. Either you'll run over the dog, or the dog will end up doing most of the pulling. And if you're only using one dog, that would be a big strain on it, i.e. pretty inefficient.

    I think you'd be better off A) getting a sled and a team of dogs or B) getting a tandem bike and a friend to ride with you (the latter being more plausible).

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
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    I am personally offended by the idea of exploiting animals for this purpose. It is almost as bad as destroying the planet by burning fossil fuels. Maybe even worse, as at least after we destroy ourselves the animals will be left in peace, except for the ones we have reprogrammed to be our tools.

    However, I think the idea has merit if we substitute people for animals. Children, especially, are not particularly useful so can be repurposed for our transportation needs. An attachment like the Trail-A-Bike works very well. If you have no children of your own and cannot borrow any from the local neighborhood, they can often be purchased at reduced prices from overseas. Small Mexican boys, in particular, can be counted on for hard work with little maintenance. And when through, they can be disposed of without concern of ecological harm.

    Hopefully, the OP will give this due consideration and perhaps re-examine the direction of his moral compass.

  10. #10
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Substituting people for animals...that is called the Pedicab.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  11. #11
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    Forgive me if I made you cry Six Jours. I am not aware of any animal ethical laws that I have broken so far. In addition, let me add that dogs and humans have a symbiotic relationship. Cats on the other hand are the ones that exploit humans into buying them cat food. Damn those cats. You're out of your element Six Jours.

    Sorry dude, you didn't blow my mind. Peace.

  12. #12
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    There used to be a dude in Montreal in a wheelchair whose pitbull used to pull him around at break neck speeds. You could tell the dog was having a great time. Heck they both were, and watching them play at red lights you knew nobody was being exploited.

  13. #13
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer View Post
    There used to be a dude in Montreal in a wheelchair whose pitbull used to pull him around at break neck speeds. You could tell the dog was having a great time. Heck they both were, and watching them play at red lights you knew nobody was being exploited.

    I've seen this with a legless guy on a skate board being pulled by a dog. This looked like utility. I've seen also seen a guy "walking" his dog while on a longboard skate boad (being pullled while dog happily ran)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcmasterpiece View Post
    Forgive me if I made you cry Six Jours. I am not aware of any animal ethical laws that I have broken so far. In addition, let me add that dogs and humans have a symbiotic relationship. Cats on the other hand are the ones that exploit humans into buying them cat food. Damn those cats. You're out of your element Six Jours.

    Sorry dude, you didn't blow my mind. Peace.
    I'm guessing you're not familiar with Jonathan Swift.

    Doubtless he won't be able to do anything for your mind either.
    Last edited by Six jours; 02-08-08 at 11:39 PM.

  15. #15
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    I'd love to see the video, put it on youtube. Anything that exploits dogs is fine by me. If I could get the dogs to spray with bear spray the attacking dogs I seem to attrack, that would be perfect.

  16. #16
    A potato in every bite... seans_potato_business's Avatar
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    I hope no-one is serious when they suggest that this idea would lead to an "exploitation of dogs". When one considers the cost (both financial, directly to the owner and environmental) of keeping a dog for this purpose, the idea quickly become "non-viable". The existence of a dog is damaging, if perhaps less so than as a human, to the environment (production and transport of food, medical care, direct CO2 emissions (similar to that of a human for a large (i.e. powerful) dog). Gasoline in a properly ridden, modern motorcycle of efficient design might well be better on both accounts.

    Indeed, I expect that this idea (even if not originally intended this way) would only have application in the realm of novelty and would like to assert that the scathing comments along the lines of dogs biting the OP are unfair and inappropriate. It might be an appropriate way for an individual, so-inclined, to gain exercise for themselves and their dog (though I'd be concerned that the dog simply wouldn't care to contribute/would be difficult to train and would be difficult to accommodate (think comfort, thirst and excrement).

    All-in-all I'm interested in the OP's wacky idea and wish them the best of luck.
    We don't inherit the earth from or parents; we borrow it from our children.

  17. #17
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    It's a fact that lots of dog breeds love to pull. It's partly to do with selective breeding for that trait (as with lots of canine traits) and probably partly something to do with the way wolves are wired up. I also wish the op well in seeing how far this crazy idea can go.

  18. #18
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    I'll need to see the EPA report on the environmental destruction wrought by dog farts before I can further comment.

  19. #19
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    My breed of dog lives to draft. I had a rig specially made that serves as a bike cart and can be swapped to serve as a dog cart. We go pick up litter on walks! Many breeds live* to pull.

    I've also mushed, and skijored, and I can promise that the dogs enjoy it more than I do. I do it for them. The working breeds need to work or they aren't happy.

    I'm downloading this now, but I won't be able to look at it until tomorrow.

    I'll give you feedback-- I've been searching for the perfect bicycle solution. The springer is the closest I've come, but it doesn't involve pulling.
    Last edited by solveg; 02-26-08 at 12:19 AM.

  20. #20
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    OK. That isn't going to work.

    Dogs limbs aren't meant to work like that. Biggest obstacle is that dogs have no idea where their rear feet are. Then you have the gait problem, which means that at different speeds dogs use their legs differently. There are several different gaits....walking, pacing, trotting, running, bunnyhopping, etc. Each requires unique positioning of the feet. At no speed do they use their feet like we bicycle.

    Plus, I suspect a dog would suffer terribly from carpal tunnel-like symptoms if forced to do this. They just aren't built to move that evenly. Imagine being strapped into a a pair of shoes and mittens, and be forced to move your hands and feet in perfectly round circles for a couple hours. Not healthy.

    Another issue is getting the dog to adapt to something like this. One of the reasons dogs get hit by cars is because dogs are in a different evolutionary place. They just don't really "get" cars in their entirety. This pedaling thing is in a totally different evolutionary place for them. All you'll do is freak them out and make them unhappy. Seriously... they have nothing in their genes to help them deal with something like this.

    If you want to pursue this, I'd rig up a treadmill contraption. That they can do, but it's a waste of energy, because the weight of it would offset any energy gain. It would be more efficient to just let them jog by the bike.

    I think they could probably do one of those giant hamster ball thingies, but the minute you bring "pedaling" into it, it's jut not going to work.

    Although, I have seen some videos of dogs riding a bike with their back legs only, and I think you could definitely train a dog to do this. But only for a few minutes. He could never put on serious miles, and it would have to be trained purely positive, with an escape option available to the dog at all times, or he'll freak. But all 4 paws is just not possible, IMHO.

    But, kudos on the creative thinking! But when you're planning something like this for a dog, envision a horse instead. And if it will work for a horse, then slow it down substantially for a dog...they only have speed at a certain gait, and then only in specific breeds. What works for a husky is not going to work for a German Shepherd.
    Last edited by solveg; 02-26-08 at 12:48 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I'll need to see the EPA report on the environmental destruction wrought by dog farts before I can further comment.

    Not to mention all the factory horse farms we'll have to construct to keep these superdogs fed.

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