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Energy Idea?


Brian Cote

Senior High Division

One of the earliest forms of transportation was to go onfoot. It was the quickest method and most people couldn't afford a horseor mule at the time. Walking was much more economical than other forms oftransportation. In the late 1880's, the light road buggy and driving horsewere common in the Red River Valley.

Bicycles weren't around until the late 1890's. They wereway too expensive and only the rich people could afford them. Most of theroads weren't suitable enough to drive a bicycle over them. After a fewyears, bike racing became popular. Bicycles were rented out by livery stablesand it wasn't long before there were cycle clubs.

It wasn't until the early 1910's that one of the firstmotorcycles was built. One of the first Harley Davidson motorcycles wasbuilt by William S. Harley. He was also noted for inventing the Ful-Fioteringseat. This extraordinary seat solved the problem of letting the motorcycleabsorb the jars and jolts instead of the rider. Bud Ekins has more than100 antique bikes that he has restored and rents to studios for filming.One of his bikes (a 1913 Harley) was on a TV show for 26 weeks. This bikewas the main attraction on the show "Nichols" starring James Garner.

The older Harley Davidson Models were used by the armyin World War I. There were thousands of these two wheeled machines duringthis era and they kept in production for a short time after the war. Duringthe war, the people who drove these machines were "scouts." Thesemachines did reconnaissance work for the "armored units." Thesebikes carried sub-machine guns, blackout lamps, wind shields, safety guards,saddle bags, and a luggage carrier. Harley Davidson also came out with thethree wheeler bike. It was called the "Harley side hack." Alltypes of business's used them for advertising and promotion of their products.They were carriers of ice cream vendors, casket carriers, flower deliveries,and even auto part service.

Because of towns being so far apart, many people have todrive many miles to work every day. If more people took an interest in motorcycles,there would be a lot of money saved on gas. Gas mileage for the motorcycleis between 50 and one hundred miles to one gallon of gas. Motorcycles rangefrom $800 dollars to $3,000. Something has to be done about the price ofoil. With a car getting an average of 17 miles per gallon, on ten gallonsof gas we could go 170 miles. A motorcycle getting an average of 50 milesper gallon, could go 500 miles on the same amount of gas.

Motorcycles are dangerous because many motorists fail tosee these two wheeled vehicles on the roads and highways. There is nothingprotecting the front of the motorcycle, so if you collide with anything,it might prove to be fatal. Another fault of motorcycles is you can't drivethem on icy or snow covered roads.

The using of our energy is costing us more than we realize.Has anybody ever thought about using windmills as an energy saver? A windmillis a device looking like a giant fan. It uses the energy of the wind toproduce power. The old windmills were used to pump water to drive electricgenerators. The windmills were also used for lighting and charging batterieson farms. Today, windmills are built of steel. A steel wheel 8 feet highdeveloped .53 horsepower, with a 20 mile wind. A ten foot windmill withthe same could produce 1.06 hp. We Americans would need about a millionwindmills spread across the farms of the United States and it would saveenergy costs.

Thinking about the old conventional methods for the useof saving energy and power in the future might be something to think about.Walking once in a great while, rather than driving a costly car would certainlysave on fuel costs. Using different methods of transportation and fuel:bicycles, windmills, and motorcycles would also save on costs.


"Challenge of the Prairie"

Easyriders: Motorcycle Magazine

Radio announcement: Grand Forks program, Sunday, January26, 1975, Grand Forks, North Dakota

"Windmills" World Book Encyclopedia, p. 281,Copyright 1972

"Windmills" World Book Encyclopedia, p. 281,Copyright 1972