News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, August 9, 2013

We, For One, Welcome Our ELF Overlords

nerd car.jpg

It's just not fair. Through years of extensive behavior modification therapy, we've finally managed to suppress the urge to scream "NERD!" at the top of our lungs whenever we see a recumbent bike, and now we're going to see these as we sit in traffic on Reston Parkway?

Confidential Restonian Operative "Boneless Buffalo" sent us the picture above when he spotted the UFO (unidentified fancypants object) in Reston a week or so back, but it took us a bit of Google-Fu to figure out exactly what it was:
RESTON, VA. — Mark Stewart turns quite a few heads as he zips through the streets on his neon green ELF bike. With each pedal, his feet take turns sticking out from the bottom while a gentle motor hums in the background.

What he's driving looks like a cross between a bicycle and a car, the closest thing yet to Fred Flintstone's footmobile, only with solar panels and a futuristic shape.

It's a "green" option for today's commuters.

Stewart, a 65-year-old family therapist and school psychologist from Cambridge, Mass., took the summer off in order to drive his new ELF bike more than 1,200 miles on trails and roads using the East Coast Greenway, a bike and pedestrian trail that runs from Canada to Key West.
That runs through Reston? Actually, no. But that's not important right now. What is important is that we have before us a vehicle even more Restonesque than the ubiquitous Prius, at a fraction of the cost:
The ELF, or "Organic Transit Vehicle," can go for 1,800 miles on the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. It does not require the insurance, repair and car maintenance costs of the average vehicle. Besides the cost of the occasional new tire, the ELF runs completely off what it costs to charge its battery.

Stewart bought the ELF from Durham-based Organic Transit, which sells them for a base price of $5,000. He said he wanted to avoid the almost $1,000 delivery charge, so he decided to fly down to pick up the bike in person and learn how to operate it before taking the long trip back home.
Apparently there are some pesky rules about where exactly you can drive ride this thing -- it's motorized, so in some places it can't go on bike paths or sidewalks, not that this apparently stops people on the W&OD. It's not exactly car-like, either, but that shouldn't stop Restonians from picking them up in scores. In fact, we strongly recommend that Organic Transit open a bike shop dealership right here in Reston, just as soon as they start offering the ELF in Russet Brown, Asteroid, and Sea Foam, the end.


  1. I'm somewhat dubious about this. Has that shade of vomit green been approved by the DRB?

  2. Convict, I'd only barf that color if I'd been drinking gin and Gatorade.

  3. Nerd! Nerd! So Nerd!
    See. It's easy. I for one cannot resist the temptation to kick of these flimsy contraptions to the curb. How to you spell Death Trap??


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