Since the beginning of July, John MacTaggart has been cycling across the country to promote the idea of wind-assisted vehicles. But the bike he’s been riding isn’t your typical geared road cruiser; it’s a complex cycling contraption he and his father designed called a Pterosail — incorporating a sail that sits on the side of a recumbent trike.
The Ptersosail collects wind that can be stored to later assist his ride with a motor when there is no wind support and also for such things as MacTaggart’s cell phone and GPS devices.
MacTaggart, a 30-year-old marine engineer and Navy Reserve officer, began his cycling journey in San Diego and will likely reach his final destination later this month in St. Augustine. On Aug. 6 he came through our area, stopping to talk to IN as he made his way through Beulah.
“This was a last minute kind of thing…my girlfriend at the time had the summer off and I really didn’t think she’d go for it, but she said ‘let’s do it,’” he says.
The journey is the first of its kind on a jib-based recumbent. Depending on prevailing winds, MacTaggart has been averaging 70-80 miles per day on highway roads, which he says has been a lot of fun.
Pterosail Trike Systems, L.C. is headquartered in North Liberty, Iowa and is competing in the Pepsi Refresh Project, which seeks the best environmentally useful ideas nationwide. The company is still in the promotion phase but has many trikes on backorder, according to MacTaggart.
“It’s a great way to get out and rediscover the great outdoors,” says MacTaggart. “This allows people who wouldn’t normally be able to get out the ability to do so.”
For more information on the Pterosail or the cross-country journey, visit pterosail.com.