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Thursday, September 27, 2012

A new world record / What broke the bike? / Pet Bike

A healthy bike frame with bracing, made approximately to plans

Next Step for this bike is the seat.  The wooden bits and paint for the seat are laid out on the ground.

More of the new bike

Straws that broke the camel's back: a ramshackle group of videos.

And the camel's back.  Build your bikes to plan if you don't want this to happen

Tonight's work on the bike: Plastibond in the open frame ends.
There are a few ways to break a world record, and these are
a) be incredibly talented and willing to train and break a mainstream record and become famous or even more famous (ie your name is Usain Bolt) or
b) invent a new category of record, have a go at a "high achievement" in this field (longest underwater chess game, fastest over-90-average-age swim team then claim a record.  For most of us, "b)" is the only option, and it occurred to me the other day (when carrying about 30 VHS tapes back to the op shop on my recumbent bicycle) that I had some potential for  a "b)" record.  Unfortunately events overtook me and all thoughts of any sort of record were banished when I forgot to count the videos after my bike frame broke.

So why did the frame break?

Well there is the poetic but not true answer: 30 videos are really heavy and one of the following videos "Les Patterson has a stand-up", "The Big Lebowski", "Allegro Non Troppo", "American Flyers" or "Don's Party" was the straw that broke the camels back and caused the frame to bust.

Or something closer to the truth: After multiple cumulative insults, such as being plonked upon by an 85 kg bloke, going over bumps, being made from old bits of crap lying round the shed instead of the nice steel specified in the plans, the bike protested violently and was deciduous of one of its more vital pieces, a seatpost brace.  And losing such bits aint good, eventually you start to notice that things have fallen off and other things are bending when they shouldn't while you're riding.  But I made it home and still managed to drag off a fixie rider on the way.

So in the end, the frame breaking got me moving on making another bike (or Grandfather's axe / item whose various parts have been replaced over time such that nothing original remains) from the bits of the last one and a new frame from the shed.  There are a few photos of this 3/4 finished machine above.  Its quite liberating to have a near new bike and to be finishing another one.  With the new one I can muck around and try all sorts of new things like different crank lengths or fairings or replacing the rear triangle with really aerodynamic reinforced timber.   In the mould of the "Pet  Sounds" by the Beach Boys, I have a bike I can muck around with, a Pet Bike.

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