While following Cool Tools, I came across this article for the Sun USX Recumbent Tricycle (not exactly the model shown in the picture above, but I just couldn't resist). I particularly liked the comment:
What's significant about the USX? It's the most comfortable human powered vehicle ever, more comfortable than many cars. It's safe, practical, and affordable.
In other words, this $800 bike isn't being reviewed because it's an extreme machine, a custom made bike for Bike Geeks (there are Bike Geeks, aren't there?). It's because this is an alternative to buying a $15,000 car. I find that just remarkable.
How cool would it be if vehicles like this could become more mainstream? Perhaps you could even mix this concept with a the Zip Car concept. For your daily activities you could use a bike like this, and for longer trips, you could get access to a car.
This does remind me of a comment (joke?) my dad made about the current oil crisis. He explained to me that the US and China are changing places. Today, parking lots of American companies are jammed with cars, while the same parking lots in China are crammed with Bicycles. In the not-too-distant future, the roles will be reversed, we'll all be riding bicylces, while China will have the cars.
If the bikes are as cool and as comfortable as the one described in the review, I'm not sure I'm as bothered by that vision.