The Schiller Waterbike

How heavy is the bike?
The Schiller Bike weighs around 30kg all-in. It's near impossible to carry for one person (mainly because of the shape when fully constructed) but two people can easily carry it. There are also carry handles at the back of each pontoon which make it easy to drag the Schiller Bike out of the water, if needed. 

What happens when it comes out of the water? 
If you need to take the Schiller Bike out of the water, maybe to portage a lock or store in a safe location overnight, ensure you pull the propellor outdrive up out of the water, then manoeuvre the bike so the rear of the pontoons are facing the bank. Grip a carry handle with each hand and pull evenly out of the water. There are small rings on the front of each pontoon for a second person to aid carrying the bike. Try not to drag it, this will increase the chance of damage.

How hard is to ride it?
It's probably the most stable kind of bicycle in the world. It's very easy to ride (just like a bicycle) and to our knowledge nobody has ever fallen off one from a riding position. When dismounting and climbing onto the bike is the most likely chance for the rider to fall in but again, it is very stable and with a bit of care you won't get wet!

How fast does the Schiller Bike go?
This depends how fast you pedal, but 3mph would be a fair average pace without too much effort. A solid sprint would give 5-6 mph but you'd have to be very fit to sustain this. Of course, this project isn't a race and locks and trash clean-ups will have an impact on the pace of your leg.

Can the Schiller Bike carry gear?
Absolutely! It's super stable and there's plenty of space to strap gear onto. 

Where can I leave it if I need to pop out to the toilet, to the shop and I'm alone?
We recommend the bike either be left in the water, securely moored up, or pulled out and left at the water's edge. The outdrive (propellor shaft) can easily be removed and without this the Schiller Bike isn't going anywhere. We're also considering putting a tracker on the bike, which only the project team can view, to ensure safety and avoid theft. Every location is different so we'll be asking the riders to employ common sense when thinking about leaving the waterbike.

Where can I leave my gear if I need to leave the Schiller Bike for a short period?
This totally depends on what you have with you. Even for a multi-day segment it's unlikely that you'll have so much gear that you can't carry it. The bag(s) containing the provided gear can be attached securely to the bike.

Can I camp anywhere? Where can I leave the bike? Is it safe to leave it behind?
The sleeping/ camping situation totally depends on your location. We're working on building a network of friends, watersports clubs and other waterside buildings along the route to assist with overnight stays, but much of the route travels through the countryside so wild camping possibilities will be plentiful. We would rather the waterbike wasn't left for long periods of time (during the day or overnight) in an unsecure location. 

What if I want to stay in an Inn overnight instead of camping? What happens to the bike?
Before your leg on the waterbike we'll talk about your intentions for overnight accommodation (if you're staying overnight). We ask riders to be responsible for the waterbike when they're in control of it, and absolutely do not want the bike to be left unattended overnight, unless in a secure location.

Can I lend it to anybody for spin?
We love the idea of lots of people trying the bike out on this journey, but we'll leave the option to give people a quick ride up to your judgement.




Why is there a registration fee and what will it be used for?
We want this journey to be as accessible to as many people as possible, and part of this means ensuring that riders who sign-up to the journey are committed, and keep the waterbike moving along the route. The registration fee is a way of proving commitment, and the fee will go towards a few things, including covering costs of the t-shirt and water bottle each rider receives, setting up events along the way, purchasing gear for our clean-ups and also expenses for our team of volunteers, who will have to travel out to the waterbike in case of cancellation and events.

Finally, we feel that £25 for a day on the water is great value for money! This is cheaper than hiring a canoe, kayak or SUP for a day, so we hope you recognise the value!

If I want to ride for multiple days or different legs, do I need to pay multiple registrations?
We love that you want to be more involved in this project and the registration fee is a one-off and covers your involvement throughout the project. First-time riders will be given priority for each leg, but if a section of the journey hasn't been claimed and you'd like to ride again, that's great.

What if I can't turn up at all? Can I get a refund?
Your registration fee is non-refundable. This journey relies on the commitment of riders to turn up when they say they can. If you think you can't make your leg as previously agreed we ask that you let the team know at least 24 hours in advance. In this case your registration will count towards another day on the waterbike, should you be able to find further availability.

Can I transfer my registration to somebody else?
Yes, but not within three days of your expected leg. We need to liaise with each rider in the days leading up to their leg to ensure that they're prepared and committed, and a last-minute swap makes it difficult for our volunteer to ensure all communication has been passed on.

What if I change my mind during my stretch and quit?
This would make life difficult for everyone! If you think there's a chance that this might happen we'd prefer you not to apply.

Are there any restrictions (age, size, grumpiness)?
No grumpy people allowed! Our waterbike is sized so most adults can ride it comfortably. If you're over 6'3" or under 5' you will struggle to put in a good shift. We're happy for under 18's to claim a leg but parents/guardians must be present at all times. 

Do I need to do fundraising?
No. We don't require riders to raise a fundraising total before this journey. But we do ask all riders to share their journey and the One Million Pieces litter collection project on social media. Let's spread the word and get as many people involved as we can. We'd rather you committed some time to this rather than fundraising, this is a great opportunity to make a difference without money being central to the project.

What if more riders sign up for the same leg / day?
Once a rider signs up for a leg we will only send you a link to pay the registration fee once we've confirmed which date you'll be able to ride. If multiple people would like the same leg we'll work with all to ensure that they're able to take alternative legs if the first option isn't available. If a rider can only ride for one leg, we'll work to a first come first serve process.

Is there a tracker to check where the bike is a few days before my leg? 
Once you sign up for a leg the project team will be in regular contact with you to organise the location for your start and finish handovers. Updates will be available on the project Facebook page as well, but you'll know exactly where to meet the waterbike and pass it on once you've completed your journey.

Can I get to my pick up point by public transport?
As much as possible we'll be planning each leg to start and finish near a public transport hub, often a train station.


Wild Camping

I've never wild camped before, do you recommend that I do it for the first time on the journey?
This depends entirely how confident you are, but we'd recommend you invite friends to join you or join a YesTribe or other wild camping group before you go solo. 

When should I stop riding to set up camp?
Always try leave an hour before dark to prepare for stopping your ride. It's more fun mooring up and putting up camp when you can see!


The Legal Stuff

Do I need to have insurance?
If you're taking anything you'd rather not live without we recommend basic travel and contents insurance - just like you were going on holiday. Our event insurance doesn't cover our riders, individual accidents or belongings and when you're around the water there's always a chance of damage. 

Who can I contact in case of emergency?
Contact details for the Project Team and regional helpers will be available in the manual sent to each rider ahead of their leg.

What if I drop my phone/ other gear in the water?
It'll get wet! We highly recommend that you take care with all your belongings when you're on the water. Ensure you have a protective waterproof case for your phone and that it's properly sealed with a lanyard around your neck. The team cannot be responsible for your gear during your leg.

Do we need a permit?
The waterbike is registered so all you need to do is jump on and enjoy the ride


On the water

What / where will I eat?
Riders are responsible for their own food plans. Packing pre-cooked meals, ingredients and a stove, or eating at a waterside pub/ restaurant are the obvious options.

Can I film / take photos / call a friend while riding?
Yes of course, we would LOVE you to record your leg and save it on social media. We're also planning to provide a quadlock to enable you to attach your phone to the handlebar - although we do recommend you keep your phone in a waterproof case.


Taking Part

How far would I be required to ride each day?
The waterbike will travel at an average speed of 3-4mph, but it's important to remember that this is not a race. Locks, collecting litter and resting will all slow the progress, and we're working towards an average distance of 10 miles per day. Some days will be more though, especially if we're behind schedule, but we'll make sure you're happy with your upcoming leg before asking you to commit to it.

What if I want to ride for only an hour? Or for a week?
We will be holding the occasional 'open day' where multiple people can try the bike on a particular day, this will often be coupled with a clean-up operation or a event. Otherwise, when the waterbike is moving between events, we require riders to commit to at least a half day of riding.

Do I need to wear a wetsuit?
No. It would be very warm to ride in a wetsuit all day and unless you're very clumsy you're unlikely to fall in the water.

My friend wants to join me, do we both need to register?
We're providing a fold-up canoe for small groups of friends who would like to travel together. Yes, all individuals are required to register but again - this will help a great cause, it's awesome value for a day on the water and all registrations come with a t-shirt and water bottle.

What if I can't ride weekdays?
Then you'll have to pick a weekend!

Are there any working hours for the bike? What if I want to ride it after work?
We require each rider to take on at least a half-day of riding but on a long Summer's day there will be a few hours after work to ride the allotted distance (if an average day of 10mph). It's important to note that the waterbike should not be ridden in the dark.

Can I ride it at night?
No. We want the bike to only be ridden during the day, to ensure continued safety of the rider.

How fast do I need to be?
We've been conservative with the daily distance required for this journey, so you can take your time. On a flat stretch without locks 10 miles could be covered fairly easily in around 3 hours, so you've plenty of time to enjoy yourself, pick up any rubbish and get through locks, if there are some on your leg.

I don't want to ride it but would like to participate with my SUP. Is it possible?
It is, but only if it's an open day or a friend of yours is riding the waterbike. People registering to take part should be allowed to choose whether they ride alone or with others - but if the waterbike is coming through your town and you'd like to show support please do paddle out. Just respect the rider on the day and ask them if they want company.

Are there any marshals (organisers) on the route if I need anything? Maybe a lift home after I finished my stretch?
This is a community-led project with a team of disparate volunteers pulling everything together. With this in mind each rider is very likely to be on their own during the day. You will be responsible for getting yourself to the beginning of your leg, and for getting home afterwards. To aid this, as much as possible, we'll organise handovers close to train stations and roads.

Am I going to get a medal or anything to show off and remember my journey afterwords?
We're afraid not. We hope that playing a part in this project and enjoying a very cool time on the waterbike will be enough of a memory for you. Of course, you'll get to keep your t-shirt and water bottle, and we'll be inviting everyone involved to further events and celebrations throughout the year. And we'll be arranging prizes for our best riders, litter pickers and social media demons!

Do I need to use the locks on the canals? How do I do it?
Some stretches of the waterways have plenty of locks. If you haven't used one before, don't worry! Some are automated and some are manual, but we'll provide a simple-to-follow guide in the manual we provide to each rider before their leg. 

How many people can do it at the same time? Is there more than one bike? I'd like to get my whole family out (24 people).
There is only one waterbike completing this entire journey, but we will occasionally have a canoe and possibly a second waterbike available for certain legs of the trip, which will allow two more people to join you on the water. If your group is bigger, they can walk alongside the towpath or - if the opportunity is there - rent other craft to come along. The more the merrier, especially if everyone picks up a bunch of rubbish as they go!

What if it rains?
We'll cross fingers for good weather on your leg but recommend you take a rain jacket just in case the weather is rubbish!


Picking Up Trash

Is there a minimum limit in terms of collected pieces of rubbish that I need to achieve?
We're not going to set a minimum or maximum, some stretches will be cleaner than others. But we encourage all riders to collect all trash that they see on their ride, as long as collection doesn't compromise the rider's safety. 

How do I collect and dispose of collected trash? What shall I do with the plastic?
We will provide gear and guidelines in your rider pack.

Where can I follow the project to get regular updates?
You can follow the progress of the journey on and we'll also be posting updates and news on our Facebook group.

Will I have to literally count the amount of litter I pick?
Absolutely! We'll be adding the total to our website counter so knowing how much you collected is important.


Expectations for all participants

  • All riders to take their collected trash away from the waterbike and dispose of it in the correct way. 
  • Take a selfie
  • Send in a report of your ride, no. of pieces of litter collected, a short blog, photo of you with your collected trash, and any other great photos of your ride. (Could be uploaded in a form or posted on the Facebook group?)


Kit List/ Rider Pack

We'll be providing a comprehensive kit list to all riders.