I am taking it easy. Laying in bed watching a show about early efforts to explore the moon. Heavy rovers were abandoned due to expense (a heavy rover would have to be delivered in a separate launch ahead of the astronauts–two launches were too expensive). Third parties, including GM and Grumann, continued research with their own money. Light rovers were the aim.
That’s when it hit me. Why doesn’t NASA send astronauts to the moon with bicycles? For all the reasons they make sense here, they’d be perfect on the moon. Surly’s Pugsley would be a great fit.
I am pretty sure Surley would give NASA a couple of frames for the cause. But I am just an idea man. I’ll leave it up to Congress, NASA and Surly to work out the details. With any luck, I will be laying in bed some Sunday morning and see an astronaut pedaling a big tire all over the dusty island in the sky. That’s the stuff of which dreams are made.
Update: Write first. Google Later. That’s the modern corollary to thinking before speaking. Where’s the fun in that? Anyway, it turns out there was a proponent for using bicycles to explore the moon at the time motorized rovers were being studied. Amy Teitel writes at AmericaSpace:
“David Gordon Wilson, a mechanical engineer from MIT, came up with a simple solution. A self-proclaimed bike nut, he urged NASA in the 1960s to consider sending astronauts to the Moon with bicycles. Human power as he called it was more than adequate for lunar exploration, and these much smaller vehicles would take up far less space than some kind of car.”
Read about it here.
Not a bicycle, but I do enjoy this photo, from here, of an astronaut on an electric minibike.