John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Bell not required, as the bike already sounds like a screaming teapot.
Sick of people and cars not getting out of your way when peddling somewhere? You won't have to worry about that with this steam-powered bicycle, because folks will leap like frightened rabbits to avoid being in the path of your screaming missile from Victorian Hell.
Not much information is available on the creator of this weirdo ride. He appears to be a country-loving fellow (some say Swedish) with an extensive collection of mechanical junk. By throwing some of that detritus together, he was able to build a vehicle that self-propels itself on puffs of vapor – and would, we suppose, explode in a cloud of smoke and hot cinders if it crashes, just like a derailed locomotive. At least he saves money on the bell, as the bicycle is audible at all times with a screech reminiscent of a whistling tea kettle.
How's it work? Just load that box under the seat with kindling, wait for the tank of water to boil, pull the release valve and you're ready to go. Oh, I left out the step where you're supposed to seek medical attention for second-degree crotch burns. Someone on Etsy should get busy making a steampunk cup. (Note that this is not the first steambike in existence: See here and here for fancier models.)