Hydrobikes Help to Lose Weight

May 21, 2008 - Leave a Response

I cant remember the gentleman that ordered my hydrobike for me via the phone, but I have had it since about October 2007 and want to tell him that he was right. I cant get enough of it. I dont walk anymore for exercise. I gave up dodging cars and took to the water. I have lost weight and am in better shape than ever at age 45. I did change out the seat to make it more lady friendly (just a rectangular flat seat). I ride almost daily for about an hour and am now riding to an island on the lake and watching a pair of great blue herons build a nest and hoepefully raise a family too! Thanks and if you need me to write you a formal testimony, I would be happy too. I get lots of people stopping wanting info on them and know of two on Lake Murray that I am responsible for. I would suggest that the handle bars come with padding or arm supports to rest on for a different position other than upright.

Thank you for a great product!

Lynne Branham

Commuting in the Liquid Lane

March 22, 2008 - Leave a Response

By Susan Gilmore
Seattle Times staff reporter

KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Bob Barrett pedals two miles across Puget Sound from Ketron Island to Steilacoom. “Here, you’re part of the Sound itself,” he says.

KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

“I don’t have a death wish. I’m not here to drown and I’m not risking my life,” says Bob Barrett, who’s been making his water-bike commute for nearly seven years.

Related

Nat Hong and Bob Barrett commute on Puget Sound by bike – water bike, that is – to their jobs in Bremerton and Steilacoom.

“This is pretty hard to beat in terms of a pleasant commute,” said Hong, who lives on Bainbridge Island and teaches at Olympic College in Bremerton.

The drive would be 80 miles round trip. But with his water bike, the trip to work is just 12 miles – including one mile on the water.

Hong said he used to be irked because he could look across the water and see the place he worked.

“It needled and gnawed at me. The long drive didn’t make sense.” He began water biking in September.

Hong, 54, rides a regular bicycle a half-mile to the water, hops on his water bike for the 12- to 15-minute ride, and has another bicycle waiting for him at Illahee State Park in Bremerton. He rides up a steep hill to his job.

For nearly seven years, Barrett has been riding his bike two miles across Puget Sound from his home on tiny Ketron Island to a marina in Steilacoom. There, he catches a bus to his job as a safety-and-training instructor with Pierce Transit.

Like Hong, Barrett says his commute is good for the environment.

“I don’t buy gas. I’m putting no pollutants in the water,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for a long time and it feels quite natural. I don’t have a death wish. I’m not here to drown and I’m not risking my life.”

The 125-pound, $1,400 HydroBike has two pontoons, adding stability. The pedals drive a propeller. Hong and Barrett figure they can cruise at 5 mph.

Barrett, 64, said he first saw the bike at a boat show and was intrigued. He said he’d buy it and ride it until it paid itself off, which included saving the $3-a-day ferry fare from his island home. He got hooked and has been riding it five days a week. His crossing takes 25 to 30 minutes.

He’s put almost 6,000 miles on his bike, and it paid for itself a long time ago. The other benefits are a bonus.

“Here, you’re part of the Sound itself,” he said. “I go slow enough I see birds and seals, and it keeps my health good.”

While Hong looks at the weather forecast before he ventures out on the water, Barrett said that in the more than six years he’s been water-biking, he has been turned back only six times by the wind. He wasn’t even deterred by a recent snowfall.

Hong said he developed his love of biking in Denmark, where he spent a sabbatical and biked everywhere. He said he didn’t have a car and biked nearly 4,000 miles that year just going to work.

For his local commute, Hong had considered kayaking to work, but “I’m just intrigued by biking.”

“I see a lot of wildlife. A baby seal pup came up right next to me. Winter birds on a calm day look like confetti strewn across the water. I have a wonderful view of Mount Rainier.”

Hong admits his wife worries about him and thinks he’s a little crazy. But he, like Barrett, wears a life jacket. And neither has fallen in the water.

“I don’t want to burn gas,” Hong said. “I want to try to stay fit as I get older, and I like being outside. I have one of those jobs where I do way too much sitting, and this is a good antidote.”

As for Barrett: “My wife makes sure my life-insurance policy is up to date.”

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

HydroBikes.com Launches Enhanced Website, Driving Consumer Awareness and Sales

March 1, 2008 - Leave a Response

HYDROBIKES.COM LAUNCHES ENHANCED WEBSITE, DRIVING CONSUMER AWARENESS AND SALES
The World’s Leader in Waterbike Sales Improves Online Consumer Experience

San Diego, CA – February 25, 2008 – Hydrobikes.com, from Fun Watercraft, announces the unveiling of their new website with increased user interactivity, improved online consumer experience, and additional features to increase traffic and unique visitors.  Hydrobikes.com website content now includes customer testimonials, the latest HydroBike information, tips and maintenance techniques, a robust gallery of HydroBike images, and advanced search function throughout the website.  The implementation of full eCommerce functionally allows consumers to purchase online, while a listing of HydroBike rental locations is also available to help potential buyers find a dealer in their area. 

The website is now built upon a blog foundation which allows users to post comments and reply to articles.  The implementation of social media features within the new site allows the website and it’s content to spread more efficiently across the social web.  Additionally, a new automatic pinging system instantly notifies search engines when new content is added to the site, helping the company spread the world about their successful product.

“I never feel like it’s ‘work’ selling HydroBikes because from experience I know that owners will come to appreciate the simple, fun experience of moving on water, under their own power with efficiency and grace never before available,” said Ray Buresch, Inventor / Owner of HydroBikes / FunWatercraft Products.  “This is our supreme goal for 2008, and I think our new website will help to get the HydroBike story out to the public all over the world.  HydroBikes is one of the best kept 19 year old secrets on the planet; we aim to expose it to the world.  Everyone who lives on water and wants to exercise, fish, have a safe water toy for their kids and grandchildren, and just plain have fun should know about the HydroBike.”

About Hydrobikes.com: HydroBike, from Fun Watercraft, is the worldwide premier waterbike and has been the world’s leader in waterbike sales since the founder, Ray Buresch, invented the pedal powered waterbike in 1989.  Our aeronautical engineers developed this fun, efficient personal watercraft, employing a human powered watercraft propulsion system which allows for unparalleled waterbike speed.  Utilizing a patented state-of-the-art propeller and impulsion system, HydroBike is the fastest and most efficient waterbike in the world.  Since 1989, over 11,000 HydroBikes have been sold worldwide and many locations have exploded for HydroBike rental opportunities. 

For more information about Fun Watercraft and HydroBikes, please visit www.hydrobikes.com

Hydrobike: Great Personal Watercraft

February 24, 2008 - Leave a Response

Hello Ray,

It was certainly nice talking with you this morning. Your information about your products was so helpful to me.

I own two of your Hydro-Bikes and they are simply wonderful water vehicles. I am 54 years old and my wife is 53. We ride our Hydro-Bikes every chance we get. We enjoy just cruising along side of each other, talking and looking at the wildlife. We are both constantly amazed at how easy the Hydro-Bikes are to pedal. Just a minute amount of effort really moves us over the water. I would highly recommend the Hydro-Bike to anyone that wants a great personal watercraft to enjoy as well as getting excellent exercise in the process.

Another great feature of the Hydro-Bikes is how stable they are in the water. My wife is really afraid of most boats, but she says she feels completely safe on her Hydro-Bike because of its stability in the water and I feel the same as she does.

Another thing we really like about our Hydro-Bikes is the ease with which they can be taken apart and stored. The hand knobs with stainless steel bolts makes it so easy to break the Hydro-Bikes down.

Best Regards,

Larry Tadlock

HydroBike is a Wonderful Recovery Regiment

February 24, 2008 - Leave a Response

On March 10, 1999, I suffered a heart attack. As part of my recovery regiment my physician advised me to join a gym. So for spring, summer, and fall, there I was walking away on a treadmill. Excercising on the treadmill in the winter isn’t so bad. Come spring, I asked myself, “there has got to be something I can excercise on & enjoy that will get me outside.” That something turned out to be the “Hydro-Bike.” I’m sure I drove the salesperson nuts. I live in Virginia and I was contacting the sales office at least once a day for a week with questions I thought important before I invested in this item. My questions included: was the material of good quality; was the chain weather/water resistant; and, were parts readily available. Stability on the water was a big question.I purchased my Hydro-Bike in May 2000. Best investment I ever made. I use the Hydro-Bike for 2 hours/day, whenever I can, weather permitting. The cardiovascular excercise is wonderful to say nothing of the strength you build in your legs. The Hydro-Bike can handle any wake/wave the inboard/outboard motor boats create. Then, in 2003, I purchased another Hydro-Bike so I’d have company when exercising. I have no problem acquiring an exercise companion.

Randy Damren 

Hydrobikes: Interview with the Original Inventor

February 24, 2008 - Leave a Response

We’ve put together an exclusive interview from the original inventor of the Hydrobike, Ray Buresch. The HydroBike is the worldwide premier waterbike. We’ve been the world’s leader in water bike sales since it was invented in 1989. Since Ray’s initial prototype, 11,000 Hydrobikes have been sold worldwide and many locations have exploded for Hydrobike rental opportunities.

What was your driving force for inventing a product like the Hydrobike?

I was put in touch with an Aeronautical Engineering Professor at the University of Minnesota where I have my degree in Aeronautical Engineering in early 1989. He was working on human powered watercraft propulsion system, and had come up with a highly efficient propeller — theoretically, over 90% efficient.

With the concept of the propeller in my head, I began thinking about how it would be possible to design a bicycle for use on water. With the propeller design, it was possible to overcome the greatest barrier for water bike designers: The extreme loss of energy when converting the pedal motion to useful thrust when using a paddle wheel or oars. These very old devices are extremely inefficient. They can only convert nothing more than 20% to 30% of the energy, even for the most capable person operating them.

Knowing that I was ahead of the game with the propeller and propulsion system, I started the wheels spinning to create the first Hydrobike prototype. By the time we were finished I had 11 design and mechanical patents covering all the unique features of the watercraft.

What was your main objective with your design?

As stated above to be able to bike on water, emulate the bicycle. A bicycle is the most efficient way to travel on land, under your own power. I wanted to make that the case for a watercraft that would, in essence, be the most practical and efficient way for people to travel on water. I also felt that this would represent a great potential opportunity for a business. It was not too difficult to convince others of the commercial possibilities, so raising money to fund the venture was completely viable.

What did you use as your model? Was there a model?

We didn’t model the bike off of anything; we began with a series of original prototypes and commissioned a canoe designer to design the efficient hulls for the catamaran, as a twin-hull craft. We tried close to 10 iterations before finalizing the design you see today. We tested the drive unit for 1,000 hours running continuously in a water tank with 5 times the maximum designed load.

How different is your first prototype to the one that is on the market today?

We have not changed the basic design, but we have made many improvements to the structural integrity as they became apparent through many years of constant use by rental operations all over the world. For example, we’ve improved the design to cover even the most severe operational conditions, such as a salt water ocean environment.

Where did you do the testing?

Most of the testing was done on lakes around the Minneapolis area, although some of the later experience was gained in Florida and Hawaii. The latter gave us most of our practical experience because those were the places where we had year-round rental operations. We also ran a huge field test on the Hydrobike from the Gulf of Mexico to St. Cloud Minnesota.

When were you sure the Hydrobike was going to be a success?

I was pretty sure the first year, but at that time I didn’t realize how important marketing would be for a product without an outright competitor in it’s price range. We were competing with canoes, kayaks and paddle boats, and all of them had models, at that time, priced in the $200 to $400 range. During that time, we were priced at $1,899.00, plus shipping. Even high-end bicycles were less than $1,000.

So, our biggest challenge has been to bring down the price and make the public aware of the benefits you get when owning a Hydrobike. When we started, the Internet as we know it today did not even exist. We had to rely on print media, trade shows and word of mouth exclusively for the first 10 or so years with a minor portion of our sales coming from our website. We could not afford effective marketing and we weren’t able to build an inventory of bikes.

This delima led us to the licensing of our tooling and patents to one of our major suppliers, thus freeing up capital to fund internet marketing programs.

What are your future goals for the Hydrobike?

I believe we can double and triple our sales annually over the next 5 years by effective online exposure to the millions of people around the world who already can relate to the recreational, social, fitness, and sporting benefits and the just plain enjoyment of the owning a Hydrobike, but don’t have a clue that we exist.

I’m confident due to the market momentum from the 11,000 bikes on the water and what is evidenced by the number of referrals, sales and sales from people who rented a bike on vacation or who saw one and took the name off the bike and looked us up on the internet. This represents 70 to 80% of our sales today. With gas prices climbing (we are a green machine), emphasis on fitness by those early retirees, the future could not be brighter. On top of this is myself and my business partner, Steve Anderson (he rode the bike over 1,100 miles for 68 days UP the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico to St Cloud, Minnesota in 1994). We have more enthusiasm for the bike than ever before because we believe in it. We’ve heard the first-hand stories of people who have owned them for years without a single repair or ever buying one pint of gas! These are people, like Bob Barrett of the Seattle Washington area, who have commuted to work for the past 5 years for a total of 6,000 miles! He’s saved the price of his bike many, many times over, but that’s not his biggest benefit; he says it’s his attitude and his physical fitness as a result of riding his Hydrobikes almost every day of the week for up to 5 hours.

Hydrobikes 1,000 Hour Endurance Test

February 24, 2008 - Leave a Response

Hydrobike’s “Bullet Proof” Drive Design

In 18 years and over 10,000 bikes in use, only 50 failures have been reported.

Hydrobike Endurance Test Success!

This is a picture (taken in Sept of 1990) of our staff celebrating the end of a 1,000 hours, failure free, endurance test of the Hydrobike Propeller Drive.

The test proved that the drive could survive 10 times the average predicted service thrust load for 1,000 hours of continuous operation.

The Drive was installed in a 40 gallon stock tank filled with water and driven through a transmission by a 1 1/2 hp electric motor geared to simulate 250 lb of thrust loading. After the test the unit was dismantled and checked for gear, bearing and chain wear and for any signs of damage from this rigorous test. There were none!

Further proof of the Drive’s “bullet proof” design, is that after 18 years of operation and over 10,000 in service, there have been less than 50 failures reported.

Remarkable.

HydroBike Water Bike By Fun Watercraft

February 9, 2008 - Leave a Response

Hydro Bike Explorer One

Personal Pedal Powered WaterBike

HydroBike is the worldwide premier waterbike. We’ve been the world’s leader in water bike sales since our founder invented this pedal powered water bike in 1989. Our aeronautical engineers are bringing their expertise to you; with a fun & efficient personal watercraft.

Propeller Driven for the Fastest Performance

The HydroBike achieves incredible “human powered” speed. Utilizing our patented “state-of the art” propeller and impulsion system. We are the fastest and most efficient water bike in the world.

Safe, Steady, and Sturdy

The HydroBike is also remarkably safe, even for children. A leader in the canoe industry designed our two floats, and our water bike is virtually impossible to tip over. You can even use it as a dive platform.

Peace and Quiet

The water bike handles well in shallow water and is an exceptional way for fishermen to get in close to shore. Our water bike is almost silent to operate, making it also great for trolling.

The Hydrobike is lightweight and easily assembled or disassembled. You can easily transport our waterbike on a car top carrier or larger bed pickup truck.

Learn More about all of our products, water bike, toys, and other fun accessories.

HydroBike – Well Made Design

January 28, 2008 - Leave a Response

Mr. Dean Dversdall,

Good Morning. This is an unsolicited testimonial to that wonderful Bike you folks make! It has given me more outdoor pleasure than words can ever express.

I’m too darned old now (77) to spend much time sitting down in a little, cramped fishing boat- getting up and out of that seat after a few hours was really almost comical! Was it the end of my fishing days? Fate led me to serial number SN 0089xxxx and I actually have a new “lease on life”, at least as far as fishing enjoyment is concerned.

I have made some modifications for local conditions, some storage pouches, rod holders, anchorage line (a dog leash), etc. Only major change was adding a set of 12″ wheels, removeable or reversable, for transporting it where no shore access is available. Last year I sent photos of wheels, etc., to Beverly Sellers. They work fine!

As mentioned on the phone, Dean, I personally feel your Hydro-Bike is an exceptionally well-made design, and the fabrication is of the very highest quality. I’ve always been a critical guy, but you leave me without words – other than words of praise. Thanks for my Hydro-Bike!

Kindest Regards,
 
Stan Estes – Port Angeles, Washington    

HydroBikes Require Zero Maintenance

January 28, 2008 - Leave a Response

Dear Ray,

Here’s a little information I thought you might find interesting about the fleet of Hydro-Bikes on the water at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta. If a picture is work a thousand words, than these should tell  quite a story.

At the time of this writing, there are 21 Hydro-Bikes down at the park.  The staff and management of this facility are very happy with the performance and durability of these bikes.

Not only have these turned out to be a low to zero maintenance unit, they  have proved to be quite an income generator. The attached figures show a history for their original purchase of six bikes and projections for  the addition to their fleet.

Their peek rental day so far was about three weeks ago. At that time they  had only 16 bikes on the water available to rent (the other five we not yet assembled) and had over 200 rentals for the day. At $5.00 per rental, that brought in over $1,000.00 for that day alone.

The exposure that these bikes are giving us and Hydro-Bikes is priceless.  I have received many calls from all parts of the country and Canada inquiring about the purchase of Hydro-Bikes. As the Olympics draw near, this exposure is only going to increase. Who knows, this could become an Olympic Event!

Say HI to the gang over there for me. I’ll be talking to you soon.

Sincerely,
 
Thomas R. Mohr