San Francisco-based artist Eric Staller wanted to take his art to the street so he built a bicycle for 8. It was part of his Urban UFO series and it got so much attention he decided to commercialize it as a bike for 7.
Staller named it a conference bike because it’s where “the boardroom meets the gym“. It’s not a tandem, but instead, all seven passengers sit in a circle. It steers like a car with Volkswagen steering.
So that even those who are cycling backward, or sideways, can contribute equally to the forward motion, everyone has pedals that are connected to a circular shaft (a universal joint) with a chain that goes to the rear wheels.
They’re not cheap- about $13,000 each-, but Staller believes every village could have one. Some towns are using them as part of car-free city programs. In Germany, they’re being used as a human-powered schoolbus. In Oregon, one school district uses it as a tool to fight sedentarism.
In this video, we join Staller and his family for a Sunday group ride with friends through San Francisco’s Mission District.