Ride your bike to the office, then ride upstairs.

That fit coworker of yours–the one who survives solely off poké bowls and bikes to work–has gone too far. Now they’re after our elevators, too.

Vycle is “a human-powered vertical transport system for our expanding cities,” developed by RCA graduate Elena Larriba and engineer Jon Garcia and featured on Dezeen. Put more plainly, it’s a one-man elevator powered by pedaling. It’s a vertical bike.

Vycle is meant to solve one of the same problems as bikes: increasing density. In the case of Vycle, though, that means vertical density; more tall buildings are rising in cities and even suburbs, and more and more people are ignoring the stairs for the elevator.

Because even in the four or five-story office building–which seems to be Vycle’s target market–elevators draw a lot of electricity. Vycle’s promise is that you could pedal your way to the top instead. And when you do, a counterweight ensures that you’re responsible for only your own weight, while a gear system allows you to turn resistance up and down. Vycle is also the sort of system that could be easily installed in older buildings since its own infrastructure is a fraction as complicated as a modern elevator.

Yet, there’s something downright silly about the idea, no? While it’s certainly easy to imagine the Vycle being installed at some new startup’s office, just across from the ball pit and ping pong tables, there is simply no good reason that the guy in a suit who’d prefer not to climb five flights of stairs to his office in the summer would suddenly jump at the opportunity to pedal that journey instead–let alone using a system that seems to put its operator on display in a way that stairs do not.

However, none of this is to say that Vycle isn’t charming, provocative, and something that most of us would probably love to try once. But for those of us who would like to save power and get fit in the process, the stairs always have been, and always will be, a solid option.

Sharing this article written by Mark Wilson, a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.


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