Water biking: A new kind of commute

(CBS News) NEW YORK - For millions of Americans, biking to work can be a cheaper option and a chance to work out -- unless there's a body of water in the way. But one man says he has an answer that doesn't involve bridges or tunnels.

Last month, Judah Schiller became the first person to cross the San Francisco Bay... on a bicycle.

"Nobody had ever rode a bike from Oakland to San Francisco," said Schiller, "simply because there was no bike lane on the new Bay Bridge. And there won't be one for another 10 years and a half a billion dollars."

In September, Judah Schiller became the first person to cross the San Francisco Bay... on a bicycle.
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He converted his road bike into a water bike by attaching specially-made pontoons.

Schiller's peddling the idea that bikes don't have to have limits. So on Friday, he crossed the Hudson River between New Jersey and Manhattan. The trip took 15 minutes.

"My absolute favorite thing about water biking," said Schiller, "is being out on the water, having a terrific panoramic view of New York City skyline, no cars, no buses, no crazy taxi drivers. There are no blind spots on the water, nobody is going to sneak up on you. Just the natural beauty of being out on the water and enjoying nature is a great way to start the day."

He says getting to work doesn't have to be miserable.

Judah Schiller converted his road bike into a water bike by attaching specially-made pontoons
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"People will start getting out of the water, they will see all the different transportation benefits that you get riding a bike, instead of paying for a ferry or a train or sitting in traffic," Schiller said.

But Schiller's mission isn't just to convert commuters to two-wheeled travel. He also wanted to inspire his children, after a family tragedy.

"Having three wonderful children, you want to give them something more," he said. "You want to show them that anything is possible. They lost their mother six years ago and so I've always tried to show them that life is still good, there's always a bright side, and that even your father can do something wild and bold at 41. Even though they think I'm getting old, I still feel young."