1975 Patterson AerOcycle Sail Bike

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Born in 1774, George Pocock was interested in kites from a young age, as he explains in his 1827 book ‘The Aeropleustic Art or Navigation in the Air by the use of Kites, or Buoyant Sails – “When I was a little tiny boy I learnt that my paper-kite would draw along a stone on the ground, tied at the end of its string… I wondered and I grew ambitious”. He patented his invention the ‘Charvolant’ – a kite-drawn carriage – in 1826 and two years later it was demonstrated to King George VI at Ascot racecourse. Speeds of 20mph were recorded.

A group of three Charvolants made a trip of 113 miles together, from Bristol to Marlborough and back. One of the buggies sailed past the mail coach, at the time the fastest passenger transport. On another trip, a Charvolant passed the coach of the Duke of Gloucester, a breach of etiquette that was considered so rude that the occupants had to stop to let the Duke pass them.


1975 Patterson AerOcycle Sail Bike 

25” Frame (with seat mounted further back)
26” Wheels
WIDTH: 24”
Messinger Saddle

This is the most unusual cross frame design I’ve encountered. There are no pedals or chain – it’s entirely wind-powered.

I used a tent post for the mast; to sail it properly it needs a mast and boom.



‘Sailing Bicycle’ – Article in Globe Democrat, Nov. 19, 1976

A tall sail billowing in the breeze over the asphalt of a Forest Park parking lot can’t match the Yankee Clipper for glamor, but it attracts attention.

“I get a lot of people asking about my sail bike.” Grant MacLarensaid.

AS PROBABLY the only sail bike skipper in the St. Louis area and Midwest distributor for the Aero-Cycle, MacLaren sails his bicycle in the face of the winds of economic skepticism.

“About three years ago, I read an article about a man who invented a sailing bicycle,” MacLaren said. “I was fascinated, so I built one myself.”

The 40-year-old MacLaren, coordinator of instructional resources at St. Louis Community College District, then traveled to Darien, Conn., to talk to George Patterson, the inventor of the sail bike.

“I was enthusiastic about his idea and told him I would be glad to be the Midwest representative,” MacLaren said. “I am, but we haven’t sold any.”

THE INTEREST shown when MacLaren sails his bike has a tendency to disappear when he tells people the Aero-Cycle will have to sell for more than $300.

“The problem is not a lack of interest, but the price turns people off,” MacLaren said.

The sail bike is easy to master, MacLaren said.

“Most people learn to ride them within 10 minutes,” MacLaren said. “If you have some sailing or ice-boating experience you call sail them even more proficiently.”












Put your sailing skills to the test …the AerOcycle has footrests instead of pedals. The sail, on a 12 1/2 ft mast, is mounted over the front frame and controlled with one arm. Weight: 34lbs. Cost: $200. – George Patterson, 134 Valley Rd, New Canaan, Conn 06840

– Popular Science, October, 1974















SAIL-BIKES 1826-1950s