Archive for the ‘Project’ Category
So I thought it would be a good idea to put a beer in space. Why? Why not. After spending a an hour or two researching high altitude weather balloon lift ratios, I bought a 600g latex balloon on Amazon.com and started designing a cheap space craft out of spare junk in the garage and leftover crap from behind the fridge in the basement.
Ok, so it didn’t quite make it to space space… but it did make it to apprx 110,000 ft (33.5 km). Stable low earth orbit starts at around 160 km… it’s a region of the stratosphere that Wikipedia defines as “near space”.
The final step in this build was to install the rear wheel bridge and brake mount. I wasn’t really sure about the best way to go about this, but after a few minutes in Home Depot I found a few metal nuts that I could epoxy into the bridge to give the brakes a proper support. After aligning the bridge and the nuts at the right angle I epoxied them in place and wrapped them in hemp. Once it had cured 48hours later I sanded everything down and drilled a hole through the hemp to expose the metal mount for the brake. Perfect fit.
I think I’m pretty Canadian in that I say “eh”, wear a bit too much flannel, and occasionally ride a moose to work. There is however one distinctly Canadian pastime that’s always eluded me, the mysterious art of Maple tree tapping. Living in a city the idea honestly never crossed my mind… but then one day it did. When I realized that the streets of my neighborhood where lined with Maple trees, and I didn’t have anything else planed for the day, I figured it was a perfect time to check this off my list of “Distinctly Canadian Things to Do”.
Legal disclaimer: I’m not sure what the legal ramifications are for harvesting Maple Sap from city property, but I can assure you that the taste ramifications are tremendous.
With a bike jig in place and your head tube, bottom bracket, seat-post and dropouts secured in place, the next step is to start measuring out the bamboo and cutting it to size. You can get the metal components from a frame-building supplier like Nova Cycles or harvest them off a junk frame. Once cut each joint needs to be mitered down so that it fits perfectly and snugly around the component you will be epoxying it to. My bamboo was pretty hard, so I ate through a few dremel bits during the mitering process.
I have this thing where when I say that I’m going to do something I inevitably have to do it. No matter how ludicrous or implausible, I’ve just gotta jump in headfirst and hope it works out, somehow it usually does. As it happened, one day in April I realized that I didn’t have a bike… and with no knowledge about how to actually build one I announced that was in fact what I was going to do.
Let’s face it, building a bike out of what is essentially panda-bear food sounds ridiculous. The first question that comes to most peoples minds is “why the heck would you do that?” Bamboo has hundreds of industrial and commercial uses, it’s fascinating stuff, and when it comes to bikes bamboo is actually an excellent frame building material. It’s lighter and stronger than steel/aluminum with better vibration absorbing properties than carbon fiber. I also think that it looks pretty cool. After spending a few weeks researching bamboo tensile strengths, epoxy curing agents, carbon fiber thermal expansion coefficients and a brief refresher on the Pythagorean theory from my tenth grade math textbook I figured I was as ready as I’d ever be to build a two wheeled death trap fit for Gilligan himself.
Back in February my aunt told me she had on old tandem cruiser sitting in storage getting rusty. Knowing that I like bizarre projects she thought I should come pick it up. So I stripped it down to bare metal, primed, painted, and put it back together. It comes with brand new seats, new handlebars, and a coconut drink coozy.
If you’re interested in picking up a vintage tandem cruiser in fully restored condition, shoot me an email.
Stay tuned as this vintage dumpster tandem bike get’s fully stripped down, repainted and retrofitted to cruise the mean streets of Kitsilano.
It’s been a couple of years since I was last in India, but my experience traveling to some of the Child Haven homes was something that still brings a smile to my face. Every year I try to put some of my photos together in a charity project to help raise money for them, and this year we decided to do a large run of notecards. The printing costs have been donated 100%, so every dollar you spend on these cards goes directly to Child Haven International, to help them support the hundreds of destitute children that they care for in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. These cards aren’t holiday specific, and you can use them for a variety of occasions throughout the year, plus they support a great cause.
The notecards are by donation and come hand packaged in packs of 10 (each with a different photo), we are asking for a minimum $20 donation per pack (100% of your donation goes directly to Child Haven).
You can pick them up from me in person in Kitsilano, or at the next charity dinner near you. Child Haven is a small organization running on minimal overhead, and they don’t have the resources to do individual mail outs at this time. Sign up for the Child Haven newsletter to see when they will be serving up great butter chicken, spicy curry and fresh naan near you 🙂
Free Talk Host Allison Riley talks to the public and Vancouver city counselor Geoff Meggs about the future of the Vancouver viaducts and False Creek