Design engineer Mikael Kjellman enjoys biking to work, but the weather can often make the trek quite difficult and uncomfortable. An ingenious fellow, though, Kjellman crafted his own impressive all-weather velomobile he calls the PodRide.
The four-wheeled cycle is covered in waterproof fabric to protect the rider from the elements. Even better, the fabric makes the PodRide look like a small car. It's easy to spot on the road, with a height similar to that of an actual car, but it's still small enough for a bike path, and offers a tight turning radius. Also for safety, the PodRide has working headlights and turn indicators.
For that extra push, the PodRide features an electric motor to make the commute a little easier. It can propel the cycle to about 15.5 miles per hour, and it has enough juice to ride about 37 miles under electric power. With a recumbent seating position and a nicely padded seat, it appears that it would be quite comfortable for long rides.
To navigate Sweden's snowy roads an bike paths, Kjellman decked out the PodRide with studded tires, and it even has a heater to defrost the windows. In the summer, the windows open up for ventilation. The windshield has a manual wiper blade to ensure proper forward vision.
There's space for some cargo inside the PodRide, but it can also tow a bike trailer if you need to haul extra luggage, kids, or critters. Kjellman has found his creation quite practical, and he has used it to get to work for over a year. He says it's also fun to ride, and the footage of the PodRide on snow and ice (see the video above) makes it look entertaining, indeed.
Kjellman has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the hopes of creating PodRide kits — or even fully assembled vehicles — to sell. As of this writing, the campaign has raised $40,000 with more than two weeks left to go. Eventually, Kjellman would like to make other versions of the PodRide that could accommodate more cargo and passengers. For now, though, he says he's mainly interested in promoting this novel, green form of transportation as an alternative to cars.