The Double Bicycle

A colleague of mine got an electric skateboard a while back. It can apparently go thirty miles an hour, and he uses it on busy streets. When he got it, I said, “Well, now I know how you’re going to die.”

On that note, let me introduce the double bicycle for looping the loop.

USP 790,063, FIG. 1
That’s what I call ergonomics.

The first thing I want you to know about this patent is that it was filed by a German citizen in 1904, “a subject of the German Emperor,” so I want you to read this whole post in an extravagant German accent. So for example, “Ze object iss to profide a cycle by means of which a MUTILATED LOOP may be traversed, the performer SPRINGING, mit dem veel, off ze end uff ze loop vile Kopf downward und running off onto a track leading out uff ze loop on ze zwei upper veels uff ze cycle Kopf unter Fuss.”

Did that make sense? Here’s a picture:

USP 790,063, FIG. 2

Basically, the cyclist comes down slope k, looping around until they are upside-down and flying off the edge l. They then hurtle to track n, where they hopefully land safely, but still upside down. In the interest of safety and comfort, there is a cushion i to absorb impact. Whether that is more likely to brace the spine or break it, I leave to the Germans.

This does provide a good opportunity to discuss an important practical point of patent law–whether you always need a patent for your invention. Having a patent helps you stop people from copying your invention. However, in a situation where absolutely nobody will want to copy your product, for example due to the likelihood of grisly injuries, you can probably forego the expense.

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