Title:
Pogo action bike
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is disclosed herein a recreational device that duplicates the riding position of a MOT motorcycle on a bouncing assembly similar to that of a Pogo Stick™. In one embodiment, the device includes handlebars and footrests mounted on a bouncing assembly. The handlebars are mounted forward of the bouncing assembly's central axis, and the footrests are mounted rearward of the central axis. The bouncing assembly may be of any conventional type such as a spring or gas-charged cylinder, though other types are also contemplated. Also disclosed herein is a ground-engagement pad that provides a bottom surface with a large cross-sectional area to enable use of this or other bouncing devices on soft surfaces such as grass and dirt.



Inventors:
Musachia, Michael John (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/008068
Publication Date:
05/08/2003
Filing Date:
11/05/2001
Assignee:
MUSACHIA MICHAEL JOHN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B25/08; (IPC1-7): A63B25/08; A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL JOHN MUSACHIA (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A toy which comprises: a bouncing assembly having a central axis; a set of handlebars mounted on the bouncing assembly forward of the central axis; and a footrest mounted on the bouncing assembly rearward of the central axis.

2. The toy of claim 1, wherein the bouncing assembly includes: a first structural tubing member to which the handlebars and footrest are mounted; and a second structural tubing member coupled in telescoping relation to the first structural tubing member, wherein the structural tubing members are coupled by an energy storage mechanism that stores energy under compression and releases energy during decompression so as to launch the toy clear of the ground.

3. The toy of claim 2, wherein the energy storage mechanism is a spring.

4. The toy of claim 2, wherein the energy storage mechanism is a gas-charged cylinder.

5. The toy of claim 2, wherein the energy storage mechanism is a gas bladder.

6. The toy of claim 1, wherein the set of handlebars has a center point that is between about one and about twenty-five inches horizontally forward of the central axis.

7. The toy of claim 1, wherein the footrest has a center point that is between about one and about fifteen inches inches horizontally rearward of the central axis.

8. The toy of claim 7, wherein the set of handlebars has a center point that is between about fifteen and about forty inches vertically upward of the footrest center point.

9. The toy of claim 1, further comprising: a pair of foot control plates mounted to the footrest and configured to contact the insteps and tops of feet positioned on the footrest.

10. The toy of claim 1, wherein the handlebars are mounted on the bouncing assembly by an angularly braced structural tubing assembly, and wherein the footrest is also mounted on the bouncing assembly by an angularly braced structural tubing assembly.

11. The toy of claim 1, wherein the bouncing assembly includes a ground-engagement pad.

12. The toy of claim 11, wherein the ground-engagement pad has a bottom surface with a minimum diameter of about four inches.

13. The toy of claim 11, wherein the ground-engagement pad has a bottom-surface cross-sectional area of about twenty-five square inches or more.

14. The toy of claim 13, wherein the ground-engagement pad has a top opening configured to fit a length of structural tubing.

15. The toy of claim 14, wherein the bottom surface of the ground-engagement pad includes an array of protrusions to increase traction on soft surfaces.

16. A recreational device based on a common spring-loaded hopping toy, wherein the improvement comprises: a first angularly-braced structure providing a set of handlebars offset forward of the hopping toy's central mechanism; and a second angularly-braced structure providing a set of footrests offset rearward of the hopping toy's central mechanism, wherein the positional relationship of the handlebars and footrests resembles that of an off-road motorcycle.

17. The device of claim 16, wherein the first angularly-braced structure includes a conventional handlebar mounting system for bicycles.

18. A recreational device that comprises: a bouncing mechanism having a first length of structural tubing and a second length of structural tubing telescoped into the first length and attached internally by a spring and retaining pin; and a structural member mounted on the bouncing mechanism, wherein the structural member provides mounting cavities and brackets to receive a set of handlebars and a set of footrests in a manner that duplicates the handlebar-to-footrest relationship of a trials bike.

19. A ground engagement pad for a bouncing device, wherein the pad comprises a solid piece of material having: a top opening configured to fit a length of structural tubing on the lower end of the bouncing device; and a bottom surface with a cross-sectional area of about twenty-five square inches or more.

20. The pad of claim 19, wherein the bottom surface of the ground-engagement pad includes an array of protrusions to increase traction on soft surfaces.

21. The pad of claim 19, wherein the material is solid rubber.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention generally relates to recreational exercise devices. More specifically, this invention relates to a device that simulates a popular maneuver of a Trials bike or off-road motorcycle.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] In the sport of Motorcycle Observed Trials (MOT), the object is to maneuver through or over an obstacle-leaden path without placing a foot on the ground for balance. To do this properly, th rider must constantly shift his or her weight for balance while scanning the terrain just ahead of the front wheel to choose a negotiable path and to avoid letting the front wheel get trapped between rocks or in a large rut. Therefore the rider, when positioning the bike at the foot of an obstacle, will often “hop” the bike into a more desirable position before attempting to ride over said obstacle. The “hop” is accomplished by bouncing up and down on the motorcycle, alternately compressing and releasing the spring suspension. When done properly, both bike and rider will hop clear of the ground and with proper body English, allow movement both left or right and forward or backward, mimicking the actions of a Pogo Stick™. This maneuver is commonly termed “to pogo the bike”.

[0005] In this field, other training aids exist to more specifically train for MOT riding. These include Schriber's “Balance and Coordination Exercise Device”, described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,828,251. Standard Pogo Stick™ configurations are described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,793,036 (Hansburg) and U.S. Pat. No. 316,280 (White). The devices taught in each of the references cited above share vertically aligned handholds and footrests as a common feature. A need exists, however, for combining the superior riding position of an MOT motorcycle with design and portability of a Pogo Stick™.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Accordingly, there is disclosed herein a recreational device that duplicates the riding position of a MOT motorcycle on a bouncing assembly similar to that of a Pogo Stick™. In one embodiment, the device includes handlebars and footrests mounted on a bouncing assembly. The handlebars are mounted forward of the bouncing assembly's central axis, and the footrests are mounted rearward of the central axis. The bouncing assembly may be of any conventional type such as a spring or gas-charged cylinder, though other types are also contemplated. Also disclosed herein is a ground-engagement pad that provides a bottom surface with a large cross-sectional area to enable use of this or other bouncing devices on soft surfaces such as grass and dirt.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] A better understanding of the present invention can be obtained when the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment is considered in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 shows a side elevation view of a preferred pogo bike device embodiment;

[0009] FIG. 2 shows a left side perspective view of the preferred embodiment with a rider astride;

[0010] FIG. 3 shows a top view of the preferred embodiment;

[0011] FIG. 4 shows a detail perspective view showing footrest and foot control plate placement in the preferred embodiment;

[0012] FIG. 5 shows a detail perspective view showing handlebar placement in the preferred embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 6 shows a pogo bike device having an alternative handlebar configuration;

[0014] FIG. 7 shows a pogo bike device having an alternative bouncing assembly configuration;

[0015] FIG. 8 shows a side elevation of a preferred embodiment of a ground-engaging pad;

[0016] FIG. 9 shows a fragmentary, lower perspective of the bottom end portion of the ground-engaging pad

[0017] FIG. 10 shows a top perspective view of the ground-engaging pad;

[0018] FIG. 11 shows various contemplated shapes of the ground-engaging pad;

[0019] FIG. 12 shows various means of attaching a ground engagement pad; and

[0020] FIGS. 13-14 show alternate bouncing assembly configurations.

[0021] While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the drawings and detailed description thereto are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0022] Pogo Bike

[0023] Turning now to the figures, FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the pogo bike device. The preferred embodiment has a bouncing assembly that comprises a vertically oriented length of structural tubing 1 that receives a length of structural tubing 2 having a slightly smaller diameter. The structural tubing 2 may be attached to structural tubing 1 by an internal spring and retaining pin assembly. Alternatively, a gas-charged compression cylinder may connect the two, or a compressible gas bladder may be employed. Each of these bouncing assembly configurations has as its central purpose the ability to store energy as the pogo bike compresses the assembly and the ability to release the energy as the assembly is decompressed so as to facilitate launching the device a short distance in the air. Other bouncing assembly configurations are contemplated and may be employed without departing from the spirit of the invention.

[0024] Attached to the bouncing assembly is a set of handlebars 4 having a (left-to-right) horizontal center that is positioned forward of the (front-to-back) vertical axis of the bouncing assembly (see FIG. 3). The horizontal offset between the handlebar center and the vertical axis is preferably greater than about one inch and less than about twenty-five inches. More preferably, the offset is about ten inches.

[0025] The handlebars 4 are preferably mounted on the bouncing assembly by an angularly braced structure 5, and they preferably include a pair of handgrips 6 (see FIG. 5). The angularly braced structure is preferably constructed from standard tubular sections and includes a conventional bicycle handlebar mounting system. The handgrips are preferably of a standard type used for bicycles or other vehicles when a sure but comfortable grip is desired.

[0026] Returning to FIG. 1, the bouncing assembly also has an attached set of footrests 7. The (left-to-right) horizontal center of the footrests is positioned backward from the (front-to-back) vertical axis of the bouncing assembly (see FIG. 3). The horizontal offset between the footrest center and the vertical axis is preferably greater than about one inch and less than about fifteen inches. More preferably, the offset is about eight inches. A vertical offset is provided between the handlebar center and the foot rest center of preferably at least fifteen inches and preferably less than about forty inches. More preferably, the vertical offset of about twenty-seven inches.

[0027] The footrests 7 are preferably mounted on the bouncing assembly by an angularly braced structure 8. The footrests preferably have a top surface with a rectangular or oval cross-section (see FIG. 4). The top of the footrests is preferably surfaced with a rubber or high-friction material, but other surfaces are also contemplated. These includes a cleated surface. The footrests preferably include foot control plates 9. Each foot control plate is preferably a curved surface mounted near the instep side of a footrest and designed to contact the side and top of the foot. These plates may enable the rider to more naturally grip the device between the feet for more control while jumping.

[0028] The structural tubing 1, 2, the handlebars 4, the footrests 7, the angular supports 5, 8, and the foot control plates 9, may each be constructed of metal, plastic, and/or suitable composite materials. Suitable metals may be aluminum, steel, titanium, etc. Suitable composite materials may include carbon graphite, fiberglass, etc. The structure of the device is preferably designed to be as light as practical while maintaining a high degree of ruggedness. The pogo bike device may be entirely assembled from individual components, or large portions of the device may be cast as a unitary piece.

[0029] In the preferred usage, a rider places his hands on the handgrips, holds the pogo bike in front of himself, and leaps onto the bike so that his feet land on the footrests. This causes compression of the bouncing assembly, which then responds by bouncing the rider back into the air. The rider preferably maintains his grip on the bike using feet and hands, and attempts to add to the height of the bounce by flexing and straightening his legs in synchronization with the compression and release of the bouncing assembly. A rider is shown mounted on the pogo bike in FIG. 2.

[0030] FIG. 13 shows an alternate bouncing mechanism in which the spring is located external to the inner telescoping tube. FIG. 14 shows yet another alternate bouncing mechanism utilizing a compressed gas filled bladder as an energy storage mechanism.

[0031] Ground-engagement Pad

[0032] In the normal operation of a hopping toy such as a Pogo Stick™, safe operation is limited to hard-surfaced areas. This is because the toy will sink into soft surfaces due to the small cross-section of the traditional ground-engaging pad. However, operation on hard surfaces tends to aggravate the consequences of inevitable falls and tumbles. Further, the most popularly used hard surfaces are likely not suitable for safe operation, i.e. parking areas, residential streets, crowded sidewalks.

[0033] FIG. 8, shows a ground-engagement pad 10 having a larger cross-sectional area 11 that distributes the weight of toy and rider to reduce sinking in soft surfaces. In the preferred embodiment, the pad is molded from hard rubber, Polyurethane or some other resilient material. The pad preferably allows a small amount of deformation but robustly returns to it original shape after the deforming force is removed. The top end of the pad (see FIG. 10) preferably includes an opening 12 of suitable inside diameter to accept a length of standard-diameter structural tubing 2 common to most Pogo Stick™ toys and related devices. The diameter of the opening 11 is preferably designed to provide a friction fit, although other securing means (FIG. 12) may alternatively be used. For example, the opening may include an internal thread that engages matching threads on the structural tubing, or a securing bolt may be passed through a common hole in both the pad and the structural tubing. The bottom surface of the ground-engagement pad (see FIG. 2) preferably has a diameter of not less than about four inches. This provides approximately twenty-five square inches of cross-sectional area. The diameter is also preferably less than about eight inches.

[0034] As shown in FIG. 2, the bottom surface of the ground engagement pad is preferably arrayed with protrusions 13 to aid in traction on soft surfaces. The protrusions, if provided, may be between ¼ inch and 1¼ inches tall, and may be between ¼ inch and one inch in diameter. The protrusions are preferably smooth and separated by sufficient distance to allow self-clearing of divots and dirt during normal use.

[0035] Numerous variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art once the above disclosure is fully appreciated. It is intended that the following claims be interpreted to embrace all such variations and modifications.