Widgets Rats of Oz Go Big

Rats of Oz Go Big

This vessel, Mitzie, was built by some members of the Australian wing of international chopper bicycle gang group [thanks for the correction Mr. Limp Jimmy] and beer enthusiasts, Rat Patrol.  This undeniably unique amphibious ride features total couch comfort and steering via rotating cocktail table.  The floats are plastic barrels epoxied together and filled with a 2-part polyurethane foam.  These are enough to keep the 150kg (330 lbs.) boat above water with three passengers.  The water drive is a pair of paddle wheels, one tied to each bicycle drive wheel.  Unlike strategies with paddles to spokes, this is an independent unit.  The front wheel doubles as a rudder.

It sounds slow in the water (~1 knot?), but totally wins in style points, reportedly (obviously) a chick magnet.  A trip report recounts a voyage where the two brave builders actually ride Mitzie to pick up a lucky lady friend from the Canberra International Airport. They had some interesting encounters with a lot of law at the airport, but eventually made it to the water in mixed weather.  With some luck, they got back out as well, just missing a dangerous shift in the winds.  At the end of the day, after 7 hours of pedaling, wheels were bent and the adventurers were tired, perhaps wishing to never see the craft again.  Will Mitzie ride again?  If so, let’s hope all passengers have plenty to drink and PFDs.  Read more here and see many more pictures about this triumphant amphibious couch bike.

1 Comment

  1. Limp Jimmy Said,

    January 8, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

    It must be noted that the Rat Patrol IS NOT A GANG.

    Rat Patrol is an inclusive group with a long history of building bikes from waste. It is also a reaction to the post-Penny Farthing mass-produced ‘safety bike’ design (much like modern bicycles).

    Rat Patrol Oz is one of many global chapters. We are probably the most friendly, inclusive and benevolent Chapter who regularly have rides, events and build days — all open for anyone to come along to learn, laugh and drink beer. Beer.

    While we make bicycle dreams, we do not make bikes for people as such — we show/help them how to do it themselves. We do not sell our bikes. It’s about making your own, learning skills and passing them onto others. All you have to do to be a Rat is build a mutant bike.

    Rat Patrol’s agressive international recruitment was directed at the continent of Australia and surrounding islands, where Scallywag sculls were reported to be making raids upon New Zealand. Efforts were made immediately to quash this threat by establishing a base on the mainland.

    Yes, Mitzie is big, and somehow beautiful.