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Steve Roberts: Have Computerized Solar Bicyle--Will Travel

Solo adventurer Steve Roberts pedals his high-tech solar-assisted computerized bicycle around the world.

What has four complete computer systems, weighs 300+ pounds, and climbs mountains without a motor? The "Winnebiko"--Steve Roberts' constantly evolving advanced technology laboratory on wheels. It also has a 54-speed transmission to get all that weight up hills, on-board ham radio, remote wireless communication, cellular modem, and lots of other gadgetry. His 82-watt solar generator not only powers the computers and communications equipment, but also cools his helmet and water supply.

Biking around the schoolyard was never like this.

Roberts, 37, has pedaled 15,000 miles since leaving his full-time job in 1983 for the lure of constant travel. His present livelihood combines "biketop publishing" his bimonthly journal, Nomadness, consulting--specifically, on-line searches and information brokerage, product testing for the makers of his high tech equipment--and freelance writing. He also authored a popular book, Computing Across America.

Roberts believes satellite communication will open up a whole new level of personal computing, controlled by individuals--not corporate phone networks--and liberated from desks. As for his own future, he'll be taking off this summer on a bike trip through Europe and the Soviet Union.

Any second thoughts? "I've had a few moments of terror because of inadequate brakes."

To contact Steve Roberts, or to subscribe to Nomadness, write Nomadic Research Labs, P.O. Box 2390, Santa Cruz, CA 95063

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