archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Pterosail Sailing Trike

If you enjoy helping the air we breathe by riding a recumbent tricycle, but sometimes find yourself just a bit on the fatigued side after a long day of pedaling, what would you give to just sail home using wind power? How about $4,950? That’s what a model of trike with a full sail currently runs.

Yes, just like a windsurfer out on a lake, now you can sail along the road, assuming there is not any traffic nearby. This trike may be safest to ride in a low human density situation, at least until you become extremely adept with its navigational system. If you tip this puppy over on the neighbor’s Lamborghini, it could prove stressful … and financially upsetting.

Designed for wind speeds of 10 to 30 miles per hour, this is a dual purpose vehicle designed for the best of two non-toxic travel options: Human Power and Wind Power. The vehicle weighs in at 85 pounds, is 11 feet tall,  and 4.5 feet wide. As a former windsurfer, my advice is to ride where no damage will be done if you neglect to correct for that large unexpected gust! Riding a standard recumbent trike gets everyone’s attention, so I can’t even imagine what folks would say if they saw this coming down the road.

From the Pterosail website comes this information:

Wind Power: The Pterosail Solo GT is a recumbent trike equipped with a patented sailing system. The Pterosail Solo GT combines the comfort of recumbent trikes with the pleasure of sailing. The fifty-state street-legal Pterosail Solo GT represents an exciting new chapter in cross country and recreational cycling.

“For thousands of years, civilizations have used the wind to travel across oceans, yet, this same energy has proven elusive for use on land. That’s why this type of technology is so exciting, it combines two of America’s favorite pastimes, sailing and cycling into one. The technology not only allows riders to explore America’s roadways in an exciting new way, but also allows people that otherwise couldn’t because of physical limitations – a new opportunity,” says John MacTaggart, Chief Executive Officer of Pterosail Trike Systems.

  • How it Works: Past attempts at producing a stable sailing vehicle have failed, largely due to the use of inherently unstable “main” type sails. Main type sails operate with a “pushing” action while the patented jib-based sail “pulls” – resulting in dramatically increased stability. The patented self-tacking jib sail is placed forward of the rider and low to the ground. The Pterosail Solo GT features the Automatic Sheet Management (ASM) system that take all the guess-work out of sailing. At the heart of the ASM system is a continuously recoiling sheet (line). To accelerate and use the wind, the rider tensions the sheet while steering with the other hand. To slow down, the rider simply releases the tension. It’s that easy! The ASM system allows anyone to use the Pterosail – no previous sailing experience required!
  • Easy to Setup and Break Down: The Pterosail Solo GT can be used with or without the sailing system. The Pterosail Solo GT is easily setup and broken down within minutes. The sailing system system consists of twin, two-piece carbon composite masts and two-piece carbon composite boom arms. Pterosail Trike Systems offers optional marine-grade transportation bags to store the sail and carbon composite. Additionally, the Solo GT itself can be broken down into two sections. This is ideal if you need to transport the trike in a car to truck.
  • A New Alternative: Pterosail Trike Systems is aware of the growing environmental awareness of the benefits of zero-emission vehicles. Almost daily we are reminded of how dependent we have become on petroleum. We are proud to offer an exciting new alternative to petroleum based vehicles. We believe the more our citizens get out into the countryside, the better our nation will husband its resources.

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To learn more about this trike, please visit the Pterosail website HERE.

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