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May is here, spring’s in full swing, and folks are in happy circulation. From my home office window, it’s a steady stream of people on leisurely walks, kids and adults on bikes, kids on skates n’ skateboards, and the old guy down the street who proudly rides his Segway to the 7-Eleven. With gas prices and the economy being what they are, growing concern over environmental impacts, and a greater public harangue over obesity and health issues, I’ve definitely seen an increase in neighborhood biking in the past few years. And for all these reasons — not to mention the tinker-building-hacks potential of these diverse conveyances — it’s a trend we welcome here at MAKE.

To celebrate spring, and all of the human-powered and other-powered vehicles, we decided to make May “Alt.Transportation” month. The “alt” part just means alternative to the internal-combustion automobile. And no offense to conventional cars, we just wanted to take a moment to explore some of the other ways of getting around, from the practical to the cutting edge to the decidedly over-the-edge. In the coming month, we’ll look at all manner of bikes, electric vehicles (EVs), scooters, watercraft, kit-planes, jet packs, dirigibles, you name it.

As always, we’d love to have your participation. What would you like to see us cover? Let us know in the comments below. Are you involved in anything related to alt.transportation that you want us to write about? Email me the info.

And in the meantime, grease up your bike chain, put air in your tires, and enjoy some two-wheel touring. It’s gorgeous out there!

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Granny’s Nightmare Chopper bike from MAKE Volume 11

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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