Some people invent things by creating something totally new that never existed before. Some people improve things by taking an existing product and make it better. Then there are those that take two distinct but perfectly functional items and create something totally new and even useful. Last night as I sat with Rob Edwards, our new morning guy as he got his first taste of parade emcee for the 111th Missouri State Fair parade, we saw something so totally different that we decided it needed further examination.

A Sedalia man named Tom McCown has created the ultimate fuel-saving vehicle. From talking to him, I don’t think he did it for the gas savings. He’s all about the fitness and functionality of taking a shopping cart and attaching it to a three-wheeled bike.

“What? A tricycle with a basket trailer? What’s so unique about that?” Well for starters, this trike is modeled after the CanAm Spyder motorcycle, with a single rear wheel in the back for propulsion, and dual front wheels set apart by about the width of a shopping cart. He calls it his Cartillac Bike. He’s built several and now wants to market them out of his home.

The bike frame is built on what appears to be a sturdy mountain bake with rear suspension and a wide seat (to accommodate even my ‘wide seat’). The cart is the actual basket of a shopping cart provided by a local grocery store. Tom says the weight capacity of the basket is 350 pounds, so it should haul about anything that will fit in there. Since each one is handmade, I’d bet it would be a snap to get one customized.

The pictures don’t really do it justice so we’ve invited Tom and his Cartillac Bikes to join us at our RV on the fair grounds on Monday, Aug. 12. You’re invited to come by and take one for a spin. With the State Fair wanting to cut down on the use of golf carts, maybe this will be the green alternative. I just wonder if they’ll let me ride one up and down the aisles of the grocery store.

Tom is the embodiment of American engineering ingenuity and we’re proud that he’s a native son of Sedalia. While he doesn’t have a website yet, you can get Tom’s contact info from his Facebook page. Give him a look, give him a like and come out Monday for a test pedal.