Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Media – Winnebiko II

Super Bike – Sun Tabloid

I always got a kick out of making it into the tabloids – fortunately, I’ve never been enough in the public eye for it to be a real problem, and a little breathless truth-stretching is an amusing break from the more staid technical media. This one did pretty well, though… other than claiming I built…

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Telephones and the Mobile Office – Omni

This seems almost quaint now, as I post this in 2012… reading about the teething pains with cellular phones, cordless, and answering machines. Cellular, in particular, was such a complex jungle that I bicycled with a fat directory of service areas and their reciprocal agreements, as well as a 900 MHz yagi antenna the length…

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Odds and End Users – Information Center

Just a little photo/caption from a computer magazine of the day, which also had articles about care of floppy disks and speculation about whether 1989 is the Year of the LAN. I was in the oddball stories section, along with a heavyweight champion punching out a computer. Oh, and I had a corner of the…

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High-tech Biker Also Motorhome Enthusiast

At the end of the Winnebiko II adventure covering both coasts of the US, my Computing Across America book finally came out… and I bought an ancient school bus in Florida to use as a mothership for an open-ended media tour. This became an adventure unto itself, covering over 16,000 miles (at about 6 MPG).…

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The Bike that has Everything – Globe

THIS high-tech bike is home for traveling writer Steve Roberts. It has five computers, a satellite transceiver, two ham radios, a cellular phone, security system, refrigerator, fax unit, microfiche library and TV set. Steve runs his gadgets with solar power and uses the bike’s 36 gears to haul a 4-ft. trailer. He and galpal Maggie Victor, who has her own bike, rode 6,000 miles…

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Escape from the Office – Newsweek

By 1989, the idea of escaping the office and working at home was becoming quite the meme, sparking articles like this one in mainstream publications. I’m only including the text of the small part that discusses my bike, as well as the photo above.   by John Schwartz Newsweek – April 24, 1989 (excerpt only)…

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Winnebiko II on NHK – Japan

Filmed near Milpitas, California March 24, 1989 (aired in June) This segment was part of a larger show that focused on emerging network communications, during a time when there was just beginning to be a transition between isolated online services and the then-embryonic Internet. I had recently completed the second phase of the bicycle adventure……

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Steve Roberts: technobiker - 1

Steve Roberts: technobiker – IEEE Institute

This piece in the news supplement to the IEEE Spectrum (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) came at the beginning of the long Silicon Valley BEHEMOTH-building layover. Such publicity helped immensely during the team-building phase… without my übergeek volunteers, that final version of the bike would never have reached escape velocity. A Japanese translation of…

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Reading, Writing, and Writing High-Tech Nomad – ASME News

This is just a quick little photo/caption piece from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. My father had been a member for his entire GE career, and I recall that he was delighted by this… especially with the photo from my visit to GEnie. Though I never followed in his corporate footsteps as I think…

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Wheels of Desire – The Guardian

This is of a different breed from the usual newspaper article… a very well-written and thoughtful piece in the Guardian, covering not only the Winnebiko II but the adventure story itself.  by Hugo Cornwall The Guardian — December 1, 1988 Steve Roberts had the fantasy of becoming a hi-tech nomad. Hugo Cornwall reports on the machine…

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