The Shweeb: Pedal-Powered Monorail Racing


A "human-powered monorail" sounds like a lot of work.  Set it up as a race, however, with your participants suspended up in the air, and it begins sounding like a lot of fun.  That's exactly what visitors get with the Shweeb, an amusement park ride out on New Zealand.

The Shweeb consists of a series of rails on a set path, with aerodynamic capsules (enough to fit one person) hanging from it.  Each of the carts is fitted with a seven-gear bike-like mechanism, so that the rider can progress on the rails by pedaling, all while varying their speeds.  The capsules contain adjustable seats that you can re-arrange to conform to your height.

Participants on the Shweeb can run the course against other people or against the clock.  As many as four racers, at a time, can engage in a duel of speed, going through the swerving rails, which include some near-hits to the ground among its features.

Its inventor is billing the pedal-powered ride as a potential mode of transport for the future, although, that may be stretching it.  Can you imagine setting up networks of rails for individual passengers all going to different places?

For now, the Shweeb is cool enough to stay as a popular ride at the Agroventures Adventure Park in Rotorua, New Zealand.  If you happen to get lost in Kiwi-land, a three-lap ride around the course will set you back around $30.

[Shweeb via Treehugger]