(photo credit: Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality)
Without a proper place to store the bounties of their purchases, current and
would-be cyclists often abandon their two-wheelers for modes of fuel-emitting
transportation while supermarket and shuk shopping.
Udi Rimon, 30, feels
he has the solution to this problem – the Tel-O-Porter, a caged trailer on
wheels that can be attached to the back of a bicycle. Now living and working in
Tel Aviv as an industrial designer, Rimon came up with the Tel-O-Porter concept
as his bachelor’s degree project at the Holon Institute of Technology. Now, his
mission is to get the trailer integrated into the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality’s
Tel-O-Fun bike pickup and drop-off system, he said.
“The whole idea is, I
wondered why we don’t see people with bike trailers on the street,” Rimon told
The Jerusalem Post
on Thursday. “It could be a perfect solution.”
many reasons beyond lack of storage, people had not been purchasing and riding
their own bikes as much as possible, due to hassles of lugging them up and down
stairs and fitting them in their small apartments.
however, was in many ways solved by the Tel-O-Fun bike system, launched in
mid-2011, where anyone can rent a bike and return it to various stations around
the city, he explained.
“There is a great solution for that, so why not
use this model for bike trailers as well?” Rimon said.
There are already
an abundance of bike trailers on the market, but they are quite expensive and
also have the same heaviness issues when carting them up and down stairs and
maintaining them in small apartments, according to Rimon.
“If you have
the bike trailer on the street and you can rent it, this would be a perfect
solution,” he said. “The idea was to create an add-on to the model that the
bike-sharing presents. So it kind of puts another product on the sharing model
so the clients can go to the hiring station and they can choose to rent a bike a
trailer or both.”
Even people who already have their own bikes would be
able to rent the trailers, as long as they purchased a cheap hitching device,
While food shopping, the riders can unhinge their
trailers from their bikes and take them into the grocery store as a sizable
substitute for a shopping cart, he said.
Though acknowledging that “the
riding experience will be different,” Rimon assured that the riding mechanism
with the trailer is perfectly safe. Riders must keep in mind that they will have
less agility than before, but their travels will be quite steady, he
In a flat city like Tel Aviv there should be no issues, though a
city like Jerusalem could present some difficulties, according to
Rimon said he is currently in talks with the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo
and its bike-share operator Tel-O-Fun, and he hopes that a deal will occur soon.
Meanwhile, he is also looking at places in Europe to implement the system and is
speaking with representatives of the European Cyclists Federation.
no specific target city yet, but said that “Germany would be a perfect country
for me because they have the same system as in Tel Aviv.”
bike trailer system into the existing bike-share program would open up a whole
new market for the cycling industry, according to Rimon.
“There are all
the ecological and social implications of this project,” he said. “It lowers the
use of cars inside of a city and traffic congestion. It can empower businesses
inside the city and you don’t have to take your car and go outside.”