This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of the downloadable PDF magazine.
CraftID: Bicycle, TL1, Cr 105 Hull: 1/1, Disp=0.074, Conf=4USL Open, Armour=0W, Unloaded=0.022 tons, Loaded=0.022 tons Power: External=0.0002 Mw Loco: 1/2, Simple Wheels x2, Suspension=integral, P/W=9, Road=40 kph, Offroad=8 kph Comm: - Sensors: - Off: Hardpoints=1 Def: - Control: Direct Accom: Crew=1 (Operator), Seat=None Other: Cargo=0 klitres, ObjSize=Small, EmLevel=None Comment: Price in quantity=Cr 84
This TL1 wooden, sophont-powered, bicycle is a passenger vehicle that can be found on almost any low tech planet. The hull is 1cm thick wood and the seating area is covered by cloth or hide to offer some protection for the operator’s bottom and legs.
The operator uses direct controls, handlebars, and puts its feet on the ground directly both to power the vehicle and to brake. There is no luggage compartment and anything carried must be on the operator’s back, but the vehicle is not intended to take much load.
The bicycle is powered by the operator, who is assumed to have two legs. In the above case the external power source was calculated using a standard human producing 200 watts. The speed of the vehicle varies considerably depending on the road conditions and load (the weight of the sophant and what they are carrying), and while theoretically can be driven up to 40kph, roads of the quality needed for these speeds are almost non-existent on low tech worlds.
The suspension is effectively the vehicle itself and offers very little in the way of comfort to the operator. At later tech levels springs under the seat are added to provide some comfort.