Mill Valley resident Judah Schiller pedaled into the national spotlight last fall when he attached a pair of pontoons to a road bike and rode it across San Francisco Bay. He repeated the feat in New York by crossing the Hudson River. Schiller later formed a company, Schiller Sports, and on Friday he released a model of a high-end water bicycle, now available for sale.
At the public unveiling at San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club, Schiller perched on the bike and took questions from the press while floating next to one of the docks. "Bringing a bike onto the water is not an easy endeavor," he said. "There are many engineering challenges, from propeller design to the framework of the bike itself."
It took Schiller and his team about three months to develop the bike and bring it to market. And although there are several other water bikes out there, Schiller says his is the most state of the art.
"There's a bit of hot-rod motorcycle engineering to this," said Schiller, noting that the bike features two propellers, eliminating the need for a rudder and enabling riders to make sharp turns. The bike floats on a pair of inflatable pontoons, and it can be ridden forward and backwards. Setting up and breaking down the bike takes about 10 minutes, and it can fit in the trunk of a car.