A bike, a tiny motor and a green ethos in Vail
VAIL If you see a man putt-putting around Vail, Colorado on a gas-powered bike, it may be Bill Carlson doing his bit to create a sustainable environment.Carlson, whose role as the town of Vails environmental health officer includes encouraging local businesses to recycle, thought hed lead by example to create his own form of green transportation.The Vail police donated an abandoned mountain bike to Carlson, and he bought a two-stroke, 48-cubic-centimeter, Chinese-made, single-piston engine for $90 on eBay.Though hes not a mechanic, it took Carlson a day to assemble the bike, which he built and paid for on his own.The moped can run on a flat surface at 20 mph, but Carlson said he sometimes needs to pedal going uphill to give the bike a hand. Carlson, with his happy, enthusiastic demeanor, tells of the fun he has on his moped while running around town fulfilling his duties.The bike is very fuel-efficient, performing at 150-200 miles to the gallon, and omits less greenhouse gas than the town truck he was using previously, he said.Carlsons moped is an efficient way to get around town its fast and he doesnt need a parking space, he said.Due to the small size of the engine, the moped can be used on roads, but there is no need to have a license plate or insurance, Carlson said.Carlson said he might build more of the contraptions.Sure, why not? he said. If the demand is there. The key is to get the bike.Carlson, who has worked for the town for seven years, plans environmental projects such as the new cardboard recycling plant that opened a few weeks ago.
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