Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Photo - Using a Bicycle to Pump Gas

Photo courtesy of

Here's someone putting a stationary bike to good use. After the destruction from the 2011 tsunami in Japan knocked out electrical power, these folks used one to pump gasoline.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday Video - Daisy the Solar Powered Tricycle

Daisy at Burning Man
Daisy the Solar Powered Bicycle was created by Professor Bob Schneeveis of Stanford University. Daisy is large and she can carry quite a few people. That's why she doesn't travel very fast, but Daisy does keep up a steady pace. The video is only a minute and a half long - Be sure to watch it all the way to the end.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Weird Bike Wednesday - Coventry Rotary Tricycle

An 1879 Coventry Rotary Tricycle (photo courtesy of New Atlas)
Here's an unusual tricycle from the 19th century. Built in Coventry, England it had two small wheels on one side and a large wheel on the other side. The saddle is in the middle, and pedaling provided power to the large wheel. There are two levers, one which applies brake to the large wheel, and one which turns the small wheels to provide steering. In 2016, one of these was expected to fetch eight to ten thousand dollars at auction.

Prior to the modern "safety" bicycle, tricycles were popular with those who weren't comfortable with the highwheelers. Most ladies of the time wore long dresses, so tricycles appealed to them. The roads of the era were made of dirt and had ruts left by wagons. The wheels on this trike would all fit into the wheel tracks left by other vehicles, since there was no middle wheel. This made the ride somewhat more comfortable than other trikes.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Photo - Bicycle Bathroom Sink

Use that old bike to spruce up your bathroom
I ran across an article out on Buzzfeed called "27 Clever and Unconventional Bathroom Decorating Ideas." Number 4 suggests using an old bicycle for a sink. I'm not sure about this one. I just don't like the idea of getting a flat tire on my bathroom sink.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday Video - Bike Move

A bicycle trailer full of moving boxes
Here's an interesting little video (actually a mix of video & stills) showing a guy moving 5 miles away with the help of seven friends, using bicycles and trailers. Some of the trailers were so wide that the riders went around the obstacles at the bike trail entrance instead of through them. This was done in Portland - In Indianapolis I think you would have trouble rounding up that many bike trailers for moving cargo.

At the end of the video, there is a link to the Portland, Oregon based website  Here's the video, which is three minutes and 11 seconds long:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Weird Bike Wednesday - Folding Recumbent Trike

The Velorian folding recumbent trike
Here's an interesting design that apparently never made it off the drawing board. It is a recumbent tricycle that folds. There are a number of articles out there about it on websites like Behance, all dating back to 2010. It was designed by Mantas Palaima, an automotive / industrial designer from Lithuania. It looks like he put quite a bit of thought into the design, which features:
  • A carbon fiber frame
  • Underseat steering
  • Front wheel drive and rear wheel steering
  • Ten degrees of camber in the rear wheels to improve stability when cornering
  • 24" rear wheels and 19" front wheel
  • Folded size of 48" x 30" x 21"
My guess is that the concept never went into production because of cost. The reason recumbents and folding bikes cost more compared to standard bikes is they are produced in much smaller quantities. With a folding recumbent, it is a very small niche in the market.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday Photo - Australian Tandem Bicycle

Tandem designed by Hubert Opperman (photo courtesy of Modern Mechanix)
Here's an interesting bicycle. This side by side tandem was designed by Hubert Opperman, a prominent Australian cyclist during the time between World War I and World War II. His bicycle racing career ended with the outbreak of World War II. After serving in the RAF during the war, he went into Australian politics. This photo appeared in the August 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thursday Video - Ski Jumping with a Bike

View from the top of the ski jump
Well, the Winter Olympics are now over. After watching ski jump competitors fly through the air, I wondered if any daredevil had taken his bike down a ski jump ramp and flown down the hill. Turns out there are a few that have.

In this video, Igor Obu makes a run down a ski jump ramp. A couple things about the video: First of all, the audio is in German. Secondly, very little of interest happens in the first 2 minutes and 40 seconds, so feel free to skip ahead to that point. The jump is shown several times, from different perspectives. Igor travels just over 42 meters, which is way less than what ski jumpers achieve. I think someone needs to design a bicycle with wings. Then they could make this new sport part of the Summer Olympics.

Will Igor stick the landing, or will he crash into the ground? Watch the video to find out.