Unusual Forms of Travel
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Rachel Simons

By Rachel Simons

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Once considered new and strange inventions, we now use automobiles, trains, and bicycles every day without batting an eye. But while most people use these modes of transport to get around, there are still the creative few who dare to be different.

Whether consumers think walking wheel-free is overrated or seek a savvy hybrid of a bicycle and skis, the market does offer some alternative outlying options. These unorthodox vehicles may never compare to the big three in terms of popularity, but they definitely do make a statement.

AirWheel Unicycles

AirWheel, a brand of motorized transportation products, offers a few models of electric unicycles for riders to control by leaning their bodies in different directions. Airwheels are lightweight and easily portable (models start at 9.8 kg), but only have a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour.

Though they may seem novel, AirWheel unicycles are neither cheap nor good for long-distance trips. The Q3, the most expensive unicycle model, costs a whopping 799 pounds ($1217) and can only run for 24-28 miles before the battery dies. The X3 model is the cheapest at 449 pounds ($683) and clocks in a mere 4-6 mile distance. If you want to keep your money and dignity, you’re honestly better off walking.

Ski Bikes

For most people, biking season ends when temperatures drop and snow starts to hit the ground. If you’re a ski bike owner, however, the fun has just begun.

Exactly what it sounds like, a ski bike is simply a bike frame mounted on a pair of skis instead of wheels. Yes, the concept does sound more than a little ridiculous, but this small mechanical tweak lets riders travel both the snow blocked streets and the double black diamond mountains in a totally new way. Unfortunately completed models start at $1750, but if you’re already a dedicated skiing fanatic that’s probably only a small fraction of the cash you’ve already spent on your gear.

Heelys

Part shoe, part rollerblade, Heelys were the thing you just had to have to be cool in elementary and middle school. Their popularity has waned a little bit over the years, but you will still find the occasional kid gliding past their parents on the small wheels embedded in their shoes.

If you want to learn how to do more than just go in a straight line, Heelys offers an entire YouTube video library devoted to different kinds of tricks of various difficulties. Sure, it would be a lot easier to just go to the sports shop and get your child an old pair of rollerblades for much cheaper, but in Kid World, style counts for everything.

The Treadmill Bike

If for some reason you don’t want to go to the gym but also don’t want to ride your regular bike either, you’re in luck. Introducing the Treadmill Bike, a contraption that allows you to walk while still being on wheels. The bike is marketed as an alternative to the gym during the spring and summer, but couldn’t you simply go for a jog or take out the bike you already have or could acquire for much less?

The best part is that the website claims that the Treadmill Bike has a “variable resistance feature” that lets the user change the difficulty of their workout–and then puts down in fine print that the option is not available yet.

Powerisers

Germany is known for many delightful things: beer, sausage, fancy cars, and now spring loaded power stilts.

Called Powerisers, these apparatuses combine the fun of quickly bouncing off the ground with being slightly taller than anyone else in your vicinity. Whether these stilts seem like a great way to have fun on your daily commute or a bodily injury just waiting to happen is up to the individual. Powerisers can jump over small obstacles and let the user do both back and front flips (if properly trained). At the very least, you can pretend that you’ve suddenly gained the skills of an Olympic sprinter without undertaking any rigorous athletic conditioning.

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