News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
People


Would you trade your Acura for an ELF?
The head of compliance at Kent State opted for a year on what's essentially an adult tricycle
Story by AKILAH PORTER


 
SLIDESHOW: Paulette Washko commits to a year on her adult trike.
Courtesy of Akilah Porter
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A new form of transportation – a sort of tricycle for grownups – is popping up on college campuses. WKSU’s Akilah Porter has more on the bright-green oval that’s been darting to – and around – the campus of Kent State University.

Hear more about this new adult-version of a trike

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:01)


Paulette Washko is a director of research compliance at Kent State’s main campus. Back in the summer, she decided to dedicate an entire year to biking as a means of exercise and good health. But instead of the traditional two-wheeled model, Washko is using an adult trike that operates on solar as well as pedal-power.

Washko says she first learned about the ELF one night after her husband recorded a technology show that featured the trike.

Yes, even in bad weather
“When the weather got so bad over this winter I decided to start googling bubbles over bikes, or bike bubbles, because I couldn’t figure out how I was going to do it with this terrible weather,” Washko said. “And my husband, knowing that I was looking for a bike with some type of cover, actually recorded a tech show for me in which they were featuring the ELF. As soon as I saw it, I jumped out of the chair and I was like, ‘That’s it. That’s exactly what I want.’” 


ELF stands for electric, light, fun. Washko’s is one of the first 400-or-so made by Organic Transits. The trike has two wheels in the front, and one in the back. Its oblong, pod-shaped shell features a solar panel, windshield and motor to allow the vehicle to accelerate with more speed. It also has all the essential parts of a traditional bike that relies purely on people power. 

Washko gave her son her 2009 Acura MDX after buying the trike and fully committing to her year-long challenge.

Washko says she’s only had the ELF for a month. Still, she’s braved temperatures as low as the teens and says she doesn’t get too cold because the pedaling keeps her warm.

Modifications in the works
She says she and her husband are planning to make a few new additions to the trike like including heated seats.

"My husband’s going to put in a little stereo system and it’s going to have a heated seat eventually.

If that sounds like a luxury car, Washko says it's no accident.

"Actually, Rob Cotter, the inventor, he actually worked for BMW and Porsche. So this was his vision from 20 years ago. And just now, I think now people are open and receptive. 

Is it a car; is it a bike?
Even though the ELF is an electric vehicle, Washko describes it as just a bike. So she says it doesn’t need a license plate like cars do – a point she had to push with Stow police. After Stow’s legal department looked it over, they confirmed Washko’s trike didn’t need plates.

She travels four miles between her home in Stow and Kent State and about 11 miles to Kent’s Twinsburg campus.

Washco also runs errands to places like Bed Bath and Beyond and Giant Eagle where she’s loaded up her trunk with six hand towels, six wash cloths, a 16-pound bag of dog food, milk, grape juice, a carton of eggs and a pack of buns.

According to the Organic Transits website, the standard-model ELF sells for about $5,000. It also offers the option of customized trikes. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University