Currently I live on campus at the “Towers,” an apartment style housing complex at the University of Central Florida. The location and quality of housing is fantastic. My apartment has 4 separate bedrooms, 2 shared bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and a very comfortable feel. The place is the hub of our gang of friends and is decorated and fitted for fun and entertainment.
The problem is that he housing is a bit expensive, and even though my scholarship provides enough to cover this cost for the fall/spring terms, Towers housing requires am 11.5 month lease, which means an extra $2,000 for summer housing, plus the cost of summer classes to make use of that time. I’ll take summer courses this year to get some gen. ed. classes out of the way, but after this year I don’t need to use summer terms, so I would only be wasting thousands of dollars not covered by my scholarship.
I still have to wait until I get back to campus to ask an RA how much it would cost to simply cancel the summer term lease (and if any other penalties apply) but still renew annual leases only to cancel the summer term, if this doesn’t cause some major backlash from housing. But until then, I have put considerable thought towards moving off campus, particularly into a rental home with some of my current friends and/or roommates in order to save money while increasing freedom, with the sacrifice of -
proximity to classes. I don’t drive a car. Even if I found a rental house in the neighborhood right across the street from UCF, I would have to worry about walking/biking in the rain.
Alright, so let’s not be hasty, but here’s the pitch for my new project, which I would prefer to complete by Fall 2013 (which, realistically, is doubtful, but let’s hope).
A recumbent tricycle that is enclosed (enough so that it may be used in the rain), stable, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing. The tricycle must be small enough that it may fit on a sidewalk but big enough to be stable and allow for a cover. I’m aiming for something between the cheapness, size and ease of a bicycle and the stability and comfort of small car, golf cart, or motorized tricycle.
I’ll save the bulk of my initial research for another post, but currently a serious decision to be made is whether the tricycle should be a “delta” or “tadpole” style, which means whether the axle with two wheels should be on the back or front, respectively. I was originally pro-tadpole, but now I am considering whether I require storage space enough to merit a delta design.
The cover image is the model of David Parrott’s industrial design master’s thesis, which is an enclosed delta tricycle that is electric-assisted and lean-steered. As a master’s thesis I’m going to shoot a bit lower.
I would like to do the research and design, modeling, and planning for manufacture well before summer so I have enough time to build and tweak the vehicle.