Water cycleA Portuguese man wants to take on traditional punts in Cambridge with his new invention – a nautical BIKE.

Historic Cambridge is known as a cycling city and now Victor David wants people to pedal on the WATER too.

Victor, 53, has spent two years designing and building the environmentally green machine, which people sit on like a bicycle and pedal along.

He has been out testing the £1200 water bike - which goes at a top speed of just THREE miles per hour - and hopes it will soon become a hit in the University city.

“I’ve always enjoyed sports, but I hurt my back and couldn’t kayak anymore and my lungs started to hurt from pollution when I was riding my bike on the road,” he said.

“Then I came up with the idea of cycling in the water instead and the idea for the nautical bike grew.”

Victor has patented his design, which even comes with a bicycle basket, and currently runs nautical cycling tours around the waterways in his home city of nearby Ely, Cambs. He hopes the sport will quickly become popular and would like to see the water bikes on rivers across the country, including the River Cam in Cambridge and the River Thames.

“It is very stable and anyone can learn the basics in just a couple of minutes,” he said.

“It provides good exercise and it’s a lovely way to get fit while chatting with friends as you both pedal along the scenic waterways.”

Victor said the nautical bike had already attracted lots of interest from river-users.

“People love it. I’ve been getting lots of good comments from people on the river,” he added.

Jonathan Wakefield, deputy manager for the Cam Conservators, the navigation authority for Cambridge, said unless the bike was unsafe there was no reason why Victor couldn’t apply to use it on the River Cam.

“We would need to have a demonstration of the bike. In our registration charges we do have a charge for a pedalo and he would be entitled to be registered on our waters and use it if it was similar to that,” he said.

“But we would like to see how safe it is. Unless it is deemed unsafe there is no reason why we shouldn’t allow it on here.”


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