Could The Thames become world’s widest and wettest cycle lane?

manta pedal powered hydrofoil

Could the River Thames be about to become the world’s widest and wettest cycle lane? Coming soon to rivers and lakes near you, the Manta is an electrically assisted pedal-powered hydrofoil designed to recreate the sensation of cycling on water. From the look of the demonstration video, the design appears to handle calm waters with ease. However, The Thames is a tidal river that runs fast and can become choppy in a strong wind. When we next visit the big smoke we think we’ll stick with conventional bikes for the moment.

The Manta features a 400W electric motor which helps the craft get up onto its foils – in this ‘flying’ position, it is far easier to keep up a good speed using pedal power alone.

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  1. Jim Clark


    I do hope not, our rivers and the wildlife already suffer enough litter and disturbance. These active people just love to throw their empty plastic bottles and food containers away in the countryside. Last year I even came across a cycle helmet with a damaged clasp thrown away when walking down a remote track.

  2. TD


    I am crew for an independent lifeboat association (Severn Area Rescue Association) and I can imagine that call outs would increase if these were used around Bristol or on the Severn. Note that the demonstrators didn’t wear lifejackets and the bikes had no obvious safety equipment.

    I like the idea but……!

  3. James Russell


    I’m tempted. I ride along the canal towpath on the way into work every morning. This idea removes the risk of falling into the canal when meeting someone coming the other way under a bridge (where the bridge support blocks the view of the oncoming cyclist).
    However, they would take a long while to get through the locks, so might have to leave a couple of hours earlier.
    Looks like cycling is still the best option.

    • Jim Clark


      Then you should slow down and cycle within your stopping distance and to suit the conditions. You sound like one of the very people TD is concerned about and those that cause friction on dual use paths.

  4. whobiggs


    That looks good fun but I agree, I think helmets would be a good idea and raising the saddles! The hydrofoils could be quite a hazard.

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