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"Evolutionary success ... is going to absolutely require mobility on, at a minimum, an interplanetary scale. We either go or we die out."
- Richard Morgan

Skycycle  
  A flying Harley; motorcycle of the skies.  

If you are flying over the desert on a distant planet looking for Grogs in the terrain below, you couldn't ask for a more convenient vehicle than a skycycle.

We flew on skycycles over a red desert, under the soft red sun of Down... I hadn't been flying a skycycle long. I'm a flatlander. I had spent most of my life in the cities of Earth, where any flying vehicle is illegal unless fully automated.

...I was beginning to feel more comfortable with the [skycycle] under me, this platform with a saddle and an over-sized lift motor and an air pump and a forcefield generator to stop the wind...

I dug in my saddlebags, hoping to find a flask.

From Handicap, by Larry Niven.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1967
Additional resources -

Niven fans will probably also think of the flycycle from his 1970 novel Ringworld.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Handicap
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Handicap
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