EcoCycle Human Powered Vehicles Inc.
   Home      About us
Hi, my name is Arne Pelkonen and I am the inventor of the EcoCycle.
 
The seed of this dream was planted a long time ago.  As a child, I always wanted a "Big Wheel", but never found one under the tree at Christmas.  One day, I did get my first "Big Wheel", I found it discarded on the side of the road on garbage day.  By that time, that old "Big Wheel" had a lifetime worth of use and I was far too big to be driving that little toy, but still vividly remember getting a few miles out of it until my big wheel broke into two unusable pieces.  Those memories, now 25 years old,  never left me.  When I was a bit older, around 12 or so, I remember seeing some human powered streamliners on TV.  I was inspired.  I began my quest to build my own, out of coat hangers and a plastic tarp.  Fortunately, I came to the realization that despite all my enthusiasm, it wasn't going to happen.  Good thing too, because there were a lot of  clothes on the floor by then.  The dream went on hold for a good decade as I grew up from that little kid into an irresponsible young adult.  When I was around 22 I tried again to build that trike.  Out of high school and working at a factory building axles for big trucks, I somehow kept under the radar and began building my trike at my work station.  I guess they liked me, because it certainly wasn't a secret at the plant, as the whole plant of 200+ employees would stroll past daily to check my progress on their way about the plant.  Again, after an honest attempt, the project didn't get finished.  All that I have to show for it is the scar on my friend's hand as he attempted to compress my freshly welded rear suspension. In case you are wondering, he's still my friend and has been a regular test pilot.  I just didn't have the skill-set to make that dream a reality. 
 
 At this point in my life, I came to a realization that I needed to make some changes in my life.  I really wasn't interested in working in that factory for the rest of my life anyway, so I sold all my worldly posessions, gave up my apartment and my life as I knew it and went back to school.  I moved in with my wonderful aunt Marja for the next 3-1/2 years and received my diploma in Mechanical Engineering at Centennial College.
 
Part of that program included a second and third year design project.  Well, guess what I built for my first project?  That's right.  I built my first tricycle with a few of my classmates.  It was a resounding success, only because it was an ambitious project and our teacher didn't make it easy for us.  It wasn't anything like the EcoCycle of today.  That first trike was a fully suspended,  rear steering front drive,  tadpole design.  It probably made less than a mile before the front CV shaft blew out, but never-the-less progress had been made. 
 
Now armed with a solid foundation in Mechanical Engineering and with the help of AutoCad, greater things seemed possible.  It would still take another decade before I could devote my energy to what you see pictured before you.  In the following decade came the predictable story of house, wife and two wonderful children, but the dream was still very much alive.  Pretty well out of school, I landed my first job in the engineering field.  Working for a local company here in the city designing and testing engine exhaust systems provided me with additional skills and finances to carry on my dream.  Working my way up the ladder gave me more experience, most notably,understanding the  manufacturing environment and how a medium size business runs.  I invested as much time and money as possible building the infrastructure necessary to carry on.  In 2004 I broke ground in my backyard and erected a 500 sq.ft shop that would serve as my facility to develop the EcoCycle into what it is today.  I laid everyone of the 778 cinder blocks that make its foundation, and have touched every other piece that makes up that building.  But that was only the beginning.  This was only the workspace.  After this, came the tools necessary to continue the dream, this included the welders, the benders, the mill, the lathe and on and on.  Not to mention I had to teach myself how to use all these things. 
 
 In 2007 after many years pondering the concept of a lean steering tricycle, I built my proof of concept or P1.  An ill-handling death machine to be sure, but it showed me that a vehicle could handle the way that I always envisioned it.  In May of 2008  I found myself in a unique postion to live my dream.  It only took a very reluctant interpretation of "OK" from my wife and I handed in my resignation to my well paying job.  Since May 31 2008, there have been 13 working prototypes.  The concept consumes me, and after 3-1/2 years of development, I have developed it to the point where I am comfortable to put anyone in the seat.  I call this a labour of love and without a doubt, a passion.  In some ways, it seems like my life has followed a pre-destined path, I am very happy to finally have  a product I can be proud of.  I call that product the EcoCycle X1- Vector.
 
 
As of today, July 23, 2011, the jigs and fixtures are built, the molds are made, the supply chain is shaping up and we are starting to get the product out there.  If you have the opportunity I encourage you to give the EcoCycle a try.
 
Thanks for taking the time to read my story.  I am sure it has provided you some insight into what makes this bike so special.
 
May 10-2012 Update:  Where we are.
 
Well it's been a super ride so far.  We have a fleet of trikes produced and are putting the miles on them this year.  Some riders already have clocked close to 200km already this season.  The trikes are working awesome!
 
The intent for 2012 is to Fly the Flag and build brand awareness.  We have decided to keep the trikes under our wing, so we may fully test the trikes under all conditions.  If you would like your own EcoCycle, please feel free to reach out and put your order in!
 
Look out for Team EcoCylce this summer.  See the NewsRoom for details!