Martin Angelov’s “Kolelinia” flying bike concept is far-fetched but fun and interesting. His design was a winner in the Line of Site international architectural competition. Though it’s not likely to ever become reality, I’d give it a try if it was proven safe. How about you?

Line of Site

[via Bike Portland]

15 Responses to “Kolelinia”

  • David says:

    Proven safe, Alan? Sign me up for the overhead wire, bicycling on the ground is proven dangerous!

  • Crosius says:

    According to the slide-show, it looks like you need a safety/climbing harness to use this system. Are you supposed to wear that for your whole trip just in case you want to cross a busy road? How do you get back on if you slip off? In the event of a derailment, do you have to drop your bike into traffic? It doesn’t look like it works with anything besides adult-sized, diamond-frame bikes (some pictures even seems to show that it only works with straight handlebars)

    It’s a “neat” gizmo, but it’s definitely not a “bikes as transportation” solution.

  • Doug R. says:

    I still think a zeppelin attached to a pedal powered, Jules Verne, type bicycle with propellers out the sides would be the ticket! Star wars Endor moon air bikes still rule in my book!

  • Alan says:


    But bicycling on the ground is safe! :-)



  • David says:

    Maybe I’ve got a distorted personal experience. I cut my cycling teeth riding the streets of Washington D.C…

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    Fantastic! Do they accommodate loop frame bicycles with rod brakes?

  • Finley says:

    The only way this system would work is if everyone rode a standardized bicycle and moved forward at a standardized speed, in an environment with little to no wind and rain, and certainly no ice or snow.

    The bikes would need to have steel handlebars that are positioned within a height range of just a few inches, of a standard width. Even though a rider using drop bars is shown, one of the drops would be rendered pretty useless. The bikes would also have to have tires within a certain width range, with a pretty specific tread pattern. I wouldn’t want to ride on slick metal with slick tires, and anything too knobby would cause far too much rolling resistance, considering how much of the tire would come in contact with the groove compared to a flat street.

    All of the riders would have to be moving along at a similar pace to prevent pileups. I don’t imagine that bicycle to bicycle contact would be very much fun in that situation. Flat tires or any sort of breakage would be pretty disastrous, not to mention the inevitable punks that would do things like drop stones, glass bottles, or roofing nails on to the track. There is no way to dodge an obstacle, and no way to get off the bike to clear the path. Considering the design, I also would really hate to be on one in cold wet weather. We have all seen the ‘bridge ices before road’ signs. Imagine how much faster a thin steel trough would ice up while 20 or 30 feet up in the air.

    There are one of three scenarios for falling off of this structure, depending on whether you are on an incline, a level bit, or a downward slope. In the first and the last, the stabilizing rail basically becomes a zipline, plowing you with bike attatched in to the next support beam. If you were to fall on an incline, this would increase the chances that you will take someone with you, creating a pileup. If you fall on a level bit, you are just dangling there, and judging by the harness mechanism, not everyone would be strong enough to pull themselves and their bike back on the track, find a way to re-mount the bike, and carry on. This would mean stopping the traffic below while the fire department rescues you.

    All of this of course assumes that everyone uses the system properly, secures the harness properly, and regularly checks all of their equipment for things like loose bolts. The whole thing would be a liability nightmare.

    Good old fashioned bridges are a much better idea. I am sure that some enterprising engineer could come up with a pedestrian and cyclist bridge that is inexpensive, durable, safe, and architecturally easy on the eye.

    On the whole, this idea ranks up there with the flying car in the ‘great idea on paper, horrible one in practice’ category.

  • Brian C says:

    Sorry, after the last post I feel like a rebel for thinking the idea has some merit. I like the idea of thinking outside the box – we have some interesting challenges in our area that could be addressed with a system similar to this.

    And yes, clearly will not work for all – how do we accommodate riders of different heights, recumbents, trikes, tandems…

    But I cannot help thinking that some modified version of this is an appropriate update on the Inca rope suspension bridges, that might allow low volumes of cyclists to avoid some of the nasty bits of our automobile-centric environment.

    And if nothing else, it did put a grin on my face when I saw this!

  • Doug R. says:

    I like the idea of riding on it, just so, I could “Spit” on cars! ( I was hit by a dipstick in a car)!

  • Graham says:

    It strikes me that this is an engineering solution to a social problem. The problem is that bicycles and automobies don’t want to share the same space. So instead of creating a social solution to the problem, we design an engineering one. I’ll agree that I think it looks dangerous as anything, but it is not really addressing the problem. At the end of construction, the two groups will still not want to share space, which they will have to do at some point, even if you string wires up over every street.

    As a mental exercise this is interesting because it points out that even if you go to such extremes to separate traffic, road users are still going to have to learn to “play nice.”

  • Elliott @ Austin on Two Wheels says:

    I’ve said this elsewhere, but this could be one of the dumbest concepts I’ve ever seen. Are we grasping so tightly to our car culture that we have to create high wire bike lanes so we can give every last inch of public road to cars? The fact that anyone is discussing this seriously shows how out of whack our culture is. It’s time to reduce the space used by cars, not increase it.

  • Alan says:

    Personally I don’t see this as a serious attempt at solving our bike/car woes as much as a fanciful exercise in creativity.


  • Saddle Up says:

    I’ve seen this posted elsewhere and the first thing that came to mind was here is someone with way too much time on their hands. Wouldn’t want to spend the time and energy on something that might actually do the world some real good.

  • Ron Georg says:


    I’d pay money.

    Happy Trails,
    Ron Georg

  • Don says:

    I love those tightrope people at the circus who ride on rims with a fixie. And I recall some guys making a bunch of people-powered amusement rides on a barge sailing down the Mississippi. But I look at that picture and I think: fumes, fumes, fumes. Yuck. Pick another route.

    But who knows? Maybe the fixie craze will morph into a generation of tightrope riders. They can string them up in malls for exercising in the winter months. Or some Buster Keaton-type fellow can ride the power lines looking for inefficiency.

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