Rideable Stuff (Art?)

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Railbike, 2011
Out of the blue, a guy contacted me about making him a railbike. He had some plans and knew the designer. So here it is, untested, fresh from the machine shop. First time I welded aluminum or spent that long on the mill. I'm hoping it will work out. Updates will follow.
Timo's Tank, 2011
Since becoming a father in November 2010, I've been at home every night, so I needed a project that could be done in my kitchen. The chassis is a little skateboard and a broom. The rest is various cardboard boxes from Fat Tire, pint glasses, and Diapers.com. He grew up so quickly though that I only got to use it a few times.
Treadle Scooter, 2008
Wes gave me two scooter frames and asked me to make a treadle scooter. I looked at quite a few patent images before designing and fabricating this. The main improvement I did was add the constant force (wind up) spring. Unfortunately the gearing is not quite right and it goes too slow. I could put on a larger rear wheel, but for now I'm done.
Squirrel, 2007
The flashing LED wheels were bought off a street merchant in Shanghai, the squirrel from Thrift Town in the Mission, the 3 speed bicycle from the back of a van also in the Mission. I have to admit, it's a chick magnet. Even though the LEDs burned out after two rides. UPDATE 2007: changed handlebars and made some leather grips. Added some class. Lunar Design added the riding hat for the squirrel.
mySimon Sandhill Challenge Soapbox Car, 1999-2007
First made for the 1999 Sandhill Challenge, then adapted to the more dangerous and curvy SF Illegal Soapbox Society. Clocked at 38 mph, has been through multiple crashes, has sent me to the hospital, and has finally been retired after parts were canniballized for a disco limo and Spincycle. With all of its notoriety, for some reason this car does not have a name. UPDATE: My friend Jo Slota took it, and with some help from friends, made it bad ass again. We raced down Bernal 2007 with a bunch of the steampunks. Unfortunately at the end of the day it ended up back in my garage like a curse.
Sidewinder and 20" Recumbent, 2007
Built these for the Crucible's Frame Alteration Class for youths. The class was taught over three weekends by me and three other adults. 10 local kids built choppers and other custom bicycles. Overall everyone had a good time. When asked what they learned, one kid wrote, 'I can spray paint cars.' Kids say the darnedest things.
Sidewinder: There are various designs for this double jointed frame and I purposedly made the the lower leg of the trapezoid longer. That way, when riding straight but with the frame zigzagged, the wheels will have some positive camber. The closer to vertical the second headset is, the more lively and loose the front becomes. This one ended up nice and wiggly. Like I've done before, I welded the uncut bike to the table instead of using a jig.
20" Recumbent: it is what it is.
Odysseus' Boat, 2007
Built this for the Crucible's production of Homer's Odyssey. Khabir (www.workingart.com) and I teamed up and had a good time designing and fabricating this tandem. Plus we were paid. Originally designed for four people, about six rode it during the opera. We did the oar mechanism and frame but did not do the fairing or wooden oars. This thing broke and had numerous mechanical issues during rehearsals, so we ended up going through quite a few modifications before the show opened. Although fun to ride, it has issues going up and down ramps.
Penny Tandem, 2007
Add one Coker Wheelman to another donated kids bike, add sidepull brakes, move the seat, reinforce the forks, replace the handlebars, and presto! Totally not my idea. (See my cool links page.)
Michael Rauner's Bike, 2006
I was only supposed to fabricate the steering wheel, but on the way back home from the metalshop it fell off the back of the pickup truck and subsequently got run over by a BMW at 2:30 in the morning. Yay!! I had to rebuild a lot, so it ended up on this page. Michael is a great photographer, and his website is http://www.michaelrphotography.com/
Shrunken Fuji, 2006
I received about 10 bikes from someone who liked my twisted bike at the Makers' Faire. I used the same shrinking technique as the previous Fuji, but this time I heated the rear stays so there are no hammer or jig marks from cold bending. I like how both brakes will still work! And the S curve is SOLID. I tried filling tubing with vermiculite before bending but it didn't work for me. I'll use sand next time. This might be my last shrunken bike. I think there are enough for maybe an art show or something.
Another messed up Raleigh, 2006
Another gift bicycle. And it's a red Raleigh like my first shrunken bike. In kindergarden I was too short to be allowed to play on the second level of the play structure. Ever since I've been bitter towards tall people. I tried making stilts, but who wants to be "one of them?" Now that I have a welding machine and a forge I can lower the structure! I tried a few different handlebars, but ended up with a simple self made curved one with homemade leather grips.
Damn Those Tall People, 2006
Found this frame on the street, paint already stripped off and covered in rust. I cut out the original top tube and down tube, but kept the same frame geometry. The new tubing is quite thick so it ends up still very stiff. Forged matching bar ends. I made some bad assumptions about the preparation for painting and unfortunately the lacquer is chipping off quite rapidly. The stickers are from an ad for the BMW Mini in Wired Magazine. I brought it out to my friend Tom Kabat's WoodenBikes table at the Makers' Faire. He's got great wooden bikes!
Tall People Still Suck, 2004
Found a huge Fuji road bike at the Bike Hut and just had to cut it down to size. Very primitive single speed freewheel. Only has front brakes. Pretty smooth ride, even biked down to Palo Alto on it (46 miles of hills). I later added gussets and smoothed out the weld transitions for Maker's Faire 2007.
Tall People Suck, 2004
I'm tired of seeing tall bikes. Those stupid double bikes are so passe. I want short bikes goddamnit! Inspired once again by that trip to mainland China when I was a boy. There was a little boy riding an adult bike by puttin one leg THROUGH the triangle!! Holy crap, that's awesome! This one is an old red Raleigh road bike.
Spincycle, 2005
Straight out of Atomic Zombie plans. Really really fun to ride, but dangerous in traffic. I took it to the SFISS (SF Illegal Soapbox Society) and it was a blast, although not really a soapbox. Derailler for chain tension only. Exercise machine seat not too comfortable after 20 minutes or so. Side wheels butchered from shopping cart soapbox car. Caster wheels are too small and not angled correctly to really "spin" well.
leaning sidecar, 2001-2004
Built this for fun while at Jefferson Mack. The sidecar leans with the bike, so it rides almost normally. I have carried over 200 pounds with it, and it has accompanied me on three Burningman Festivals. I accidentally backed over it in a pickup truck, but I fixed it. The urge to build a sidecar originated from a trip to mainland China as a boy. I saw a very young child riding inside a bamboo bicycle sidecar. Then I found and took home a really nice single sided hub from Cornell HEV. The rest is history. I have raced it down Bernal Hill as a soapbox car. There has been a few iterations of reinforcing and playing with the placement of the third wheel. In 2004 I added the stuffed monkey Armstrong and his little yellow bike. The wheels light up! Unfortunately Armstrong was stolen/lost and replaced with Kermit the Frog and a pig. It just hasn't been the same. I still cry over it.
Powertool Drag Race entry, 2004
Never plugged it in before the race, so I put it on the track backwards. Plus the cord broke. Then it had a flat tire. Later clocked at 22 mph, but I missed my name in the second round and was out of the running. (winner went close to 80 mph anyway) Race was televised on the Discovery Channel, but my segment was cut out. Charlie decided to ride it like a surfboard at some party a week later. That's why it is considered "rideable". However he fell and hurt himself. I accept no blame.