This is cute. And highly practical.
Its called the Dump Trike, and it could save Miamis Bayfront Park thousands of dollars.
Looking to go green and save money, park director Tim Schmand experienced a simple Eureka moment while examining those famous Dutch cargo bikes: Replace one of the parks expensive, gas-fueled John Deere Gators used for park cleanup and landscape maintenance with pedal power, and see how it works.
The verdict two weeks in: So far, so great.
We think its just the greatest thing, and you dont know how happy it makes me to have this, a grinning Schmand said Wednesday as he showed off the parks custom-designed, custom-built, 21-speed prototype, which can haul 600 pounds operating on human power.
Or, to be more precise, Alvaro Bendezu power. Hes the park crew member assigned to test the Dump Trike.
I like it, I really do, the lean Bendezu said as he set off on a morning clean-up round, pedaling easily aboard the lilac and lime-green trike, getting even fitter in the process.
The Dump Trike was the result of some kharmic coincidence. The Dutch bikes were too expensive to get under the parks $2,500 limit for no-bid purchases, Schmand said. But then Charles Driza, owner of the new Tropical Pedicabs startup in downtown Miami, walked into his office.
Driza and partner Aaron Roy modified and refurbished a sturdy pedicab the type of taxi trike prevalent in parts of Asia and also popular in Key West by removing the passenger seating and installing new gears and components.
A third partner, a boat-builder, devised and built a dump-bed using a platform made from recycled plastic soda bottles and sides of pressure-treated wood. Driza said the next version will have sides made from recycled materials, too.
Voila! The Dump Trike was born.
Its balanced so that the trike can be easily tipped up to dump waste or mulch out of the hinged back, which can be removed to turn the cargo carrier into a flatbed.
The price: $2,400, which compares favorably to the $15,000 cost of a new six-wheel Gator utility vehicle, Schmand said. He also expects to save considerably on upkeep. The parks fleet of five Gators now costs $7,000 a year to maintain, he said. But the park, which depends on concert and event revenue and gets no money from the city, is looking to economize any way it can.
This gets us off the hook on that, and gets us on the way we need to go environmentally, Schmand said.
The Gators, essential for heavy-duty jobs, wont go entirely away, Schmand said.
But he thinks hes hit on something. Already other local parks administrators who heard about the Dump Trike are dropping by to check it out.