Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brompton folding bike on a Draisine ride in Edertal, Germany

In Edertal, Germany,a four wheel rail car is great  fun for families.  This rail car, called Draisine, is pedalled by two of the passengers like a bicycle.  The Edertal Draisine gives you a wonderful ride of two kilometers along a small lake, from Affoldern to Hemfurt.

As you can see in the picture, I took my folding bike on board the Draisine in order to enjoy a solitary ride back in case the family was willing or dared to do the return trip on their own.

This vehicle evidently shares the human pedal power as its locomotive principle with the modern bicycle. It is in use as a tourist attraction in countries like Finland, Sweden, Poland and Germany. As the draisine is no longer used by rail maintenance workers,  it may be interesting to look at its history.

Its name goes back to the German Baron Karl Cristian Ludwig Drais von Sauerborn who invented the first bicycle as a running machine in 1817. In Wikipedia his vehicle is defined as
"the first commercially successful two-wheeled, steerable, human-propelled machine commonly called a velociped."
His running machine was called Draisine, but later it was no longer used for bicycles and it referred only to rail cars.

Folding Bike and Draisine are of the same family
The idea of the bicycle, which goes back to Baron Drais, is making a family of our folding bike and the rail car. The name Draisine gives credit to its inventor. Thus a folding bike on a Draisine is an appeal to historical awareness and an illustration of how engineering concepts are more related than may be understood at first sight.
Edertal Draisine

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