Have you ever wanted to step behind the over-sized wheel of a zeppelin and take it up into the clouds knowing that a simple spark could turn your day into a news item that will liven infamy?
I was talking about the Hindenburg…
Okay… maybe you don’t ever want to have piloted THE Hindenburg, but how about a zeppelin?
Fat chance, right? Okay… how about a bicycle that looks kinda, sorta like the Hindenburg? Huh? Huh?
At least you know it’s not going to explode into a raging fireball. Probably.
Okay… from here on, there’s nothing much to do with aviation, per se, and is more to do with a modern bicycle… but with a pioneer-aviation theme…
Meet Boxer Cycles located in Dorest, UK, and founded by Jeremy Davis in 2013, a craft company that designs and manufactures innovative cargo trike bicycles.
Tired of carrying your children on your back wherever you travel… tired of having to strap the blighters into their child-seat in the back of your Mercedes? Have some money lying around that you want to spend on an aviation-themed road vehicle?
Well, maybe the Boxer – and specifically the Boxer Rocket is for you.
Debuting in 2015, the Rocket cargo trike is essentially an adult tricycle, with two wheels up from and one in the rear, where the adult moves the electric bicycle while carting his kid or kids around in what can only be the most eye-catching kid mover since that 250cent Batmobile ride in front of the grocery store.
No really… that Batman ride was sweet.
Caption – what’s really sad, is that every time I’ve seen this, and other 1966 Batmobile rides on the ‘net, there’s never a kid riding it!
Okay… forget the Batmobile… we were talking zeppelins!!! Kids like zeppelins, right?
Even if they have no clue about what the heck a zeppelin was 100 years ago, they will dig the look of the Boxer Rocket.
Designed originally as a one-off, the Rocket caught the financial attention of Davis, so much so that he has built a full-time job out of it.
Glance at the images of the Rocket spread around this page… it’s an art-deco-like design that Davis says is paired with a heavy-duty and unique 1930’s airliner-inspired girder frame.
It’s got a central headlight with high and low beam, turn signal indicators on its ‘wings’ and a beautiful rear tail/brake light.
I have no idea why one is out with the kiddies so late that you need lights, but let’s say that offensively-termed playdate (it’s called hanging out over at a friend’s house!!!) went a little long because you didn’t realize your son’s friend’s mom was a single mom…
Along with the headlight – everybody loves headlights on a bicycle, there is also a very loud horn fitted to the underside of the Rocket’s chassis which will most certainly alert traffic to your presence on the sidewalk.
Take that stupid late night jogger!
I’m just having fun. Anyhow… all of these gadgets are easily accessible to the bicycle operator via a single easy-to-use instrument cluster on the handlebars, that is probably still easier to manipulate than a real zeppelin.
For the passengers – yes, you could use the trike to cart groceries or make that pick-up at the lumber store – and here I’m talking about your kids… you should have kids if you are going to buy one of these things… the area they are placed, is cleverly called “the cockpit”… hee-haw… you said coc – never mind that…
Actually, Boxer says the Rocket’s cockpit is NOT designed for hauling anything except your kids. No cargo, please.
There are, in the cockpit, two reclining and removable bench seats which can be folded flat to make a child’s bed or an adult seat, or a very uncomfortable bed for an adult.
Each seat comes with two 3-point safety harnesses (with shoulder ‘stop’ strap) fitted – which means you could safely strap in four children’s seats in total… thank goodness this is a mechanized bicycle, eh?
Because storage will still be required when there are kids in the cockpit, Boxer has smartly devised a secure and large locker within the nose cone – so there… you can store helmets and valuables… not wallets, fer crissakes… we’re talking about things like foods, and bottles for the young ones. Not for you! No drinking and driving!
The electric power system is hidden in the cockpit and comprises of a 250Watt motor (larger motors available for U.S. and Canadian models ), a 36V 13.4Ah lithium ion battery. On the handlebars there is an LCD screen which allows you to set the level of power assistance which also shows you distance, speed and range information.
We’ll assume that if the power system is hidden in the cockpit where the kiddies are also hidden, that there is no way in heck the kiddies can get at it. Boxer did state that it was hidden, after all.
Why are larger motors available for the North Americans, but not for the U.K…. is there some sort of horsepower restriction for Europe or Asia or Africa, South America, Australia… and no… not Antarctica, too?!
Because there’s nothing worse than having a puncture in your Hindenburg-like Rocket bicycle, the company has used three-millimeter thick rim walls, which are coupled to Schwalbe Marathon Plus kevlar re-enforced tires – so you can be assured it is a tough bicycle.
- The 128-pound (58-kilogram) aluminum trike comes in many color options;
- 36V – 13.4Ah / 250W electric drive system with LCD display and tachometer (up to 500W in Canada and the U.S.);
- 7-speed dérailleur gears;
- Tektro 180mm front and 160mm rear hydraulic disc brakes with safety cut out switch that prevent the motor from being operated when the brakes are on;
- Heavy duty 3mm wall wheel rims;
- Schwalbe Marathon Plus Kevlar re-enforced tires;
- Magura ‘Big Twin’ disc brake with 180mm front rotors;
- Ultra large British made Brooks B33 saddle;
- Handlebar switch cluster controlled horn, high/low beam front light, 2 x flashing turn signal indicators per side, rear tail/brake light actuated by brakes;
- USB port for charging devices – which to me, is just plain sad. You better not be on the phone while riding around with the kids…;
- Removable multipoint reclining seats with three-point seatbelts with shoulder ‘stop straps’;
- Huge lockable storage area in nose cone – will accept five helmets;
- Rain cover – unique attractive rocket themed design fitted with heavy duty elastic securing loops and hooks;
Its unique lightweight girder chassis design, all frame parts and upholstery handmade and painted in Dorset, England.
It makes me wish I was a kid… or an adult with extra cash… or better yet an adult with some extra cash and a kid who is young enough not to complain about being humiliated for life because I promised to let him borrow the care if he would sit in it just once as I rode around the block.
But mostly, it just makes me wish (again) that I was an adult with extra cash whose torn meniscus in his knee makes the dream all moot.
If you are the type of person who likes to spoil his or her self as well as the kids, you should order one of these very cool Boxer Rocket cargo trikes… and maybe that will allow Davis to spoil his kids a little more.
By the way… there are other trike designs available… including a more recent one released a week previous….
Other trike types are: the Boxer Shuttle, a family trike which uses the same running gear as the Rocket but with a conventional wooden cargo box; and the Boxer Cargo, a lightweight and high-speed delivery trike with a roller shutter door and removable front end.
Hindenburg? Sure… but to me, it looks like something right out of those Buck Rogers Big Little Books from the 1930s I sold about 10 years ago before the market got really hot.
Yeah… it’s a Buck Rogers rocket… or maybe something out of Flash Gordon. Not THE Flash… (why did I sell my Showcase Comics #4 thirty-five years ago?!).
If anyone owns or plans to purchase one of these Boxer Rocket trikes, let me know how much you like it.
Oh… and lastly, should you wish to really work on bulging up the old calf muscles, you can purchase a manual Rocket… but it’s a special custom order.
I wonder, though… it should still be less expensive consider they don’t have to add a motor… but how will light and horn work? Maybe they won’t… and all you have is a shell of a zeppelin.
So… how much will a Rocket set you back? Think £5,500 (or ~ US$8,350)…
I want you all to know that when my Madza 6 wagon died this past Christmas Eve, a few weeks later I bought a 1999 Oldsmobile Eight-Eight Anniversary Edition for CDN $1,200. After a minor repair – $429 – it is still more expensive to purchase this cool, but ultimately still, a bicycle.
Here’s a great video of the Rocket: