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Probably everybody here grew up reading the comic strip "BC" as a kid, and remembers Thor, the inventor of the Wheel and the Comb.Thor's Wheel is now a featured logo for the late Johnny Hart's home, Broome County, NY's, mass transit system.  His wheel always looked like it would be so much fun as a kid, and as an adult I still love all things cycling.

Well, there's the old saying, "If you live long enough, you'll see everything." Look below the Orange Cheeto for some fascinating modern day manifestation's of Thor's Wheel...;)

I would dearly love to try out any and all of these contraptions someday! Working from the simple to the more complex:

The BC Wheel

OK, I lied. I'm older and fragile... I wouldn't set feet on one of these... probably could double as a finger/toe salad shooter at speed. They have You-Tube fail video written all over them. These are referred to, in general, on the internet as "BC Wheels". Lots of manufacturers, and the average price seems to be around $150-200. No brakes, no pedals, no seat, but from a purist's standpoint, these are modern versions of Thor's Wheel.

The BC Wheel

The BC Wheel in action:

The Unicycle

OK, stretching the truth a bit, I probably wouldn't get on one of these either. But, I did try them as a kid, I just sucked at it! The whole balance-y thing tends to get in the way for me and most people, I think. They've been around forever and depending upon how much you want to shell out, anywhere from $50 to $500-600, you can get them with gears and even a brake!

Modern Unicycle

How to ride a unicycle:

The RunBike

Now THIS ONE I definitely want to try! Although, in reality, the Laurini RunBike is a bicycle, it technically brings the fun of Thor's standing wheel and a unicycle to those of us less athletically gifted... plus a better cardiovascular work out to boot! They just look like way too much fun. I suppose it would be pretty easy to replace the rack with some kind of seat, but then you basically have a mini bicycle. They've not crossed the pond to the US yet, and you'll need €880 to get one.

The Runbike in action:

The Solowheel

I DEFINITELY want to try one of these. Let's say that you're not at all into the whole cardiovascular/perspire-y thing, your balance is sub-standard, and you still want the Thor experience... enter the Solowheel! About 1-2 hours of rechargable battery life, and a top speed of 12 mph and range of 12 miles. Balance, no worries! It's all Gyroscopic-ally controlled, similar to the Segway(I have tried a Segway before in downtown Chicago, and it was a lot of fun!). More particulars/faq's here.There also appears to be a knockoff called Airwheel on Amazon for just over $700, while the Solowheel is just under $2000.

The Solowheel
Solowheel in action:

The Rhyno

What possessed me to write this diary in the first place? (Summoning up my best Tim Allen grunt!) Meet the Rhyno! Basically, a much larger, version of the Solowheel with a seat and handlebars. Alas, about the same top speed, and a little shorter range. Not unlike the Tesla they're taking individual orders, and entry level is $5,295.

Rhyno Motorcycle
The Rhyno story:

The Lit Motors C-1

So let's just say you're not into the whole 1 wheel thing, or the wind in your hair and whatnot... motorcycles could be fast and fun, but, again, it's that whole balance thing. Check out the Lit Motors C-1! How about 0-60 in 6 seconds, top speed of 120 mph and 220 miles per charge and gyroscopic stability in a totally enclosed environment? Got  $24,000 sitting around that you could play with? Oh, yes. Someday, you will be mine. Wow.

Oh yeah... let's not forget to think outside the box... or better yet, along the lines of this diary... inside the wheel!

The WheelSurf

Again, let's say you're not into the whole sweaty/pedally thing... and you've got $13,000 sitting around... well HELLO WHEELSURF!  Via Hammacher Schlemmer you can indulge in this little beauty:

The WheelSurf

Made in the Netherlands, 31cc, 1 1/2hp... it's 1/2 gallon tank of gas will keep it going up to 25 mph for about 2 hours... only not on streets or sidewalks... not allowed.

The WheelSurf in action:

Of course there are inherent physics and stability problems with the monocycle, likely accounting for why you just don't see a lot of them... not a good idea to channel MIB, although this guy predates the movie by a decade:

Since this Diary started with caveman Thor and BC, it's probably appropriate to talk about evolution, particularly engineering evolution. Along the lines of cool things I found along the way, I'd like to conclude with something that really does seem to have legs, or wheels, as it were. This guy and his vision probably deserve their own diary...

The Elio

Elio Motors founder Paul Elio is struggling to make the Elio a reality. Promising 84 mpg and top speed over 100 mph and a 672 mile range... IMHO... this thing is the BOMB! If only it were electric...

The really attractive thing about the Elio is the price... you can reserve one at their website for $1000, and the total price is a mere $6800! The catches are... well... they hope to have a factory to make them in by the final quarter this year. Totally enclosed, AC, Radio, power locks for $6800 is stunning to say the least. Although they say the Elio is good to go in inclement weather, I find it hard to believe they will cope with snow accumulation over the height of the tires as occurs in WI. I am a sucker for this kind of stuff, though, and I probably would have been one of Preston Tucker's biggest fans had I been around. Here's hoping Paul Elio avoids becoming my generation's Preston Tucker.. ;)

The Elio in action:

Hope you've enjoyed my little wishful thinking parade... ;)

Originally posted to dudehisattva on Sat May 24, 2014 at 05:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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