A human powered mass transit solution powered by the passengers that ride the pedibus. Like a pedicab, the pedibus is designed to carry a driver and one or more passengers but with several important differences and options.

  1. A pedibus allows passengers to contribute to the motive power, current offerings use simple bicycle cranks that all turn at the same time and are connected by chains and sprockets to the drive wheels. Technology offers many options for improvements on this simple concept.
  2. Technology options to use flywheel or battery and electric motor motive power may be considered more feasible due to economies of scale.
    a. Flywheels store energy and dissipate it through a throttle controlled by the operator. As load is added to the pedibus, each rider contributes to power generation to add energy to the flywheel, which in turn is driving the pedibus via torque converter.
    b. Battery and electric motor systems that include regenerative power via vehicle braking and human energy input in a similar fashion as the wheel system.
  3. The multiple seats present a revenue opportunity and regular routes could attract a loyal rider base.
  4. Economies of scale will allow the vehicle to be weatherproof and comfortable.
  5. The interactive experience of contributing energy directly to the transportation and sharing that with fellow riders will build community.

A prototype could be assembled and tested for under $10,000 using existing materials and foregoing extensive weatherproofing and passenger comfort. This prototype could be used as a test bed and demonstration vehicle for the next generation pedibus.

Copyright 2006, Tim Castleman

Robert G. Schmidt (Genesis 1:29) imprisoned: letters needed

Robert (Duke) Schmidt has been sent to a prison camp in Leavenworth, Kansas.
I was in the military prison there once a long time ago. It really sucked and a crucial link to the world came in the mail. Even though letters are opened and read by the guards, they were still a bright spot in the otherwise gray world that is prison.

Robert needs letters sent for his appeal, and to him while he sits it out thousands of miles from his wife, family and friends. At the end of this e-mail I have pasted the letter I wrote to use as an example if you like, but originality is important, so be sure to edit to add your own experience.

Details of the raid including before and after pictures are online at:

Fax your letter of support to his attorney at 323-653-1225

Send a letter to Robert at:

Robert G. Schmidt #80579-020
FPC Leavenworth Unit B-2
Satellite Camp, P.O.Box 1000
Leavenworth, Ka. 66048


To Whom It May Concern:

I met Robert G Schmidt the summer of 2000 and subsequently visited his medical cannabis production and distribution facilities on numerous occasions. It was Robert who first pointed out to me that Proposition 215 was now California State law 11362.5 & 11362.9 as he described his efforts to be in compliance at all times.

Robert also told me about ongoing meetings and correspondence with DEA regarding his registration to manufacture a controlled substance. I met his patent attorney, William Hyde, and learned of his research into concentrating the medicinal properties of cannabis to provide efficient methods of delivery without smoking the vegetable matter. I heard about local law enforcement officials visiting his dispensary to train new
officers, and met dozens of medical cannabis patients that he helped.

Robert and I talked often about the concept of ‘whole stalk utilization’ in which all of the plant material is put some use, such as making paper from the left over leaves, branches and stalks after harvest. As a bio-resource development researcher I was greatly intrigued with this prospect and expressed my interest by participating in a response letter to Robert’s most recent DEA correspondence requesting more information – just before their raid in September 12, 2002.

Oddly, weeks later they sent yet another letter and request for more information, this after they had just raided both his leased Sebastopol ranch and Petaluma office space! I mention this DEA correspondence to illustrate Robert’s sincere belief that Genesis 1:29 was operating in full compliance with California State law, and registration with DEA was a typical government process well underway at the time of the DEA raid.

Robert never attempted to hide or conceal any of what he was doing. Quite the contrary, he not only had registered with the DEA, but also worked closely with local officials to move his dispensary from a residential location to a more suitable commercial space, across the street from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

All of this served to inspire confidence in me and deepened the shock when I learned of the raid. Robert clearly knew the law and was making every attempt to remain in compliance, yet he was singled out from the dozens of other medical cannabis providers to be jailed and lose everything. Now he has been sent thousands of miles away from his wife, family and friends to a prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. This is an outrage, what happened to the Rule of Law? What about States Rights? What about the 1000+ medical cannabis recipients that now must turn to the street again?

I sincerely hope the reader of this letter has the integrity and compassion to help correct the injustice of jailing this man, and take the appropriate action to see his release as soon as possible.