Power To The Pedal

Competition Details


by Nikki Pfarr
Co-authors: Dania Peterson, Ruth Nechas

Toby is a highly flexible bicycle trailer that accommodates four primary living activities in order to help build a bike culture that appeals to families and professionals as well as young idealists.

If our society is going to break from its dependence on the automobile, the alternatives must provide the same ease and convenience that have made us such a car culture. For a change to be truly widespread and ultimately have a significant impact, it has to offer something more than the satisfaction that comes with making a responsible decision. To accomplish this task, the creation of the Toby focused on three main areas:

Flexibility: The Toby functions equally well as a transport for both packages and passengers and doesn't take up a lot of storage space. The Toby detaches from the bicycle once the rider has reached their destination and can be used as a cart for groceries or a stroller. Finally, the Toby collapses easily for convenient storage when it is not in use.

Ease of use: The Toby couples and uncouples with any standard bicycle in a matter of seconds with no additional hardware. As the goal of the Toby was mass appeal, it was imperative that separate tools or a degree in engineering were not required for the unit to fulfill its various functions.

Performance: The materials used in the Toby ensure that it is lightweight, durable, and able to withstand the jolts and obstacles commonly found on the street. Because bicycles are machines powered by people and not engines, the Toby doesn't add significant weight or difficulty to the act of pedaling.

Finally, it was important that the Toby be a part of the revolution it is trying to inspire. The frame of the Toby is made from reclaimed aluminum, and its collapsible shell consists of 100% recycled plastics.

Ultimately, the Toby is intended to make a bicycle much more than an acceptable alternative to an automobile. The experience of using the Toby is superior to that of a car because of its flexibility and maneuverability in the busy city streets, bicycle paths, and environments that people love to be in.