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Quadricycles and Other Interesting Vehicles.

July 9, 2013

http://www.surreycompany.com/
When I went to the ’91 Billy Graham rally in Central Park, I passed by the 72nd St. exit, by Tavern on the Green, and saw a guy renting out these bright red four wheeled cycles! I thought that was so interesting. Even though bike riding finally came to me after much difficulty when I was 9 (it was when I was down at an aunt in rural Virginia, away from the traffic and potholes of the street I lived on, that I finally got it), I always thought the ideas of a four wheeled cycle was nice.
I knew they had large tricycles (and not just the little ones for kids), but it wasn’t until I was grown that I actually saw a quadricycle.

I sat on it to see what it was like, and it has two pedals for each of the two main seats, and a rack and pinion steering wheel. It has a quaint looking canopy (which is removable), and a front basket that can seat two small children or other items.
I didn’t bother to go renting it ($15/hr) for myself, but figured I would return when I finally had a girlfriend or wife. That occurred the following year, and the carriages were still there, but by the time we decided to go ride one, they were gone and never came back. I some time later heard in the news about another renter (could have possibly been the same one) in Long Beach, LI, who they were trying to force out. We had friends there we visited occasionally, but that operation was soon gone too. Why did we get rid of all of the pedal carriage dealers?

Years later, in the internet age; I see that the only ones left were all far away; mostly out west! I try again a few years later, and there is now one based in Ocean City, NJ, near Atlantic City. But we never go down there. They would have been nice in Ocean Grove, a quaint old Methodist town up closer to us, where we used to go for the annual Christian “Big Splash” event!
 

I also saw that they sell them in Hammacher Schlemmer on 57th St., where they had one on display. The small one that seats 2 adults is $3700! It is too big and heavy to bring upstairs to an apartment, so it would need to be kept in a garage. It is basically, a small car! I don’t know why those pedicab companies in Manhattan which use tricycles (and are doing well and not folding), don’t get these as well. They also come in “limo” style seating multiple riders!

I also like the four wheeled motorcycles, known as ATV’s or “quads”. But these are not for paved streets, though. They flip over easily, too. (I have started to see some riding them through the streets more and more).

I also like the little pedal boats I used to see (and rode once) at Bear Mountain; LA’s Echo Park, and my wife and I tried in the Pocono’s. Then, the “jet ski” personal watercraft also looks nice as well, when you’re operating it slowly, and the little fountain of water sprouts up out of the back. I first saw this in Key West. Never had an opportunity to try this, or an ATV, though.

Maybe I got into these things, because of the thrill of operating a vehicle myself, which was something I never did. (I always loved bumper cars as well). Of course, all of this was years before I began operating these huge multi ton subway cars!

Update: 20 years after first seeing these things, I FINALLY get to ride one. I find that they are being rented in the new park that Governor’s Island has been turned into. They actually started a year prior in 2010.
So my wife and I go, and I chose a Friday, which was an RDO for me that pick, and I had thought that the “Free Bike Fridays” offer of an hour free included the quadricycles, but that was only for regular bikes.

So for $35 an hour, we take a blue one, and do a lap around the island. I pedaled, and she tried to help at times. It’s actually a lot of exercise, as the cycle is heavy, and even mild hills take a lot of work to gain momentum, and you slow down quickly. I almost couldn’t get up the hill on Andes Rd (heading inland from the old fortress on the NW corner). When I got to the top, I had to take a rest, and then it was about time to return it.

So it was nice. She wants to go back.
The thing about the island I don’t like is that I wish they would save and reopen the housing instead of tearing it down to expand the park. I had visited the island back in ’94 when it was still a base, and open to the public only during Fleet Week, and I thought it looked like a nice “neighborhood”. Like a spread out Roosevelt Island.
On the west side, there are three six-story post-war “NYC project”-like apartment buildings (in a semicircle around a court year dfacing the water), which I thought was interesting on a base; plus one newer T-shaped highrise immediately to the south of it. On the east side, there are eight pairs of two story “suburban project”-like adjoined row housing, which resemble suburban developments. These are all vacant. (The Fire Dept. began using them for fire training. 2013, the bigger highrise was recently imploded, a story making the news for a whole day). Some even newer “condo”-looking houses on the western tip were already demolished, to expand the park.

The island is considered a part of Manhattan, and those areas, plus the historical section on the north end, made for a very unique, hidden part of the borough.
I had heard if it was kept residential, it would have ended up being taken by the wealthy. Why only in a case like this is it attempted to make things “fair” for everyone else?

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One Comment
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