Too Close For Comfort

I came across the above photo at the Facebook page of Car-Free America. It is–as it’s description says–the Oriten, a ten-seat bike made by the Orient Bicycle company. I had never heard of such a thing, but after Googling it I was surprised to see that it was quite popular around the time it was manufactured (1896); there were even races designed specifically for bikes with ten seats. When I look at the photo(s) a few things come to mind. One is I’m wondering if there was any frame flex with ten grown men sitting on it. Another is, I wonder how fast they could go with ten men pedaling (and that’s a lot of responsibility for the guy steering). And lastly, and this is just a personal one I suppose (but aren’t all opinions)…it just looks a little…well…a bit too close for comfort being sandwiched in there like that. At any rate, it would likely be a fun night out with the guys…having a few pints and not worrying about who’s driving home (I also wonder if you could ride it with just two or three guys…the thing must have weighed a ton). Anyhow, here’s a few more photos I came across.

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