Saturday, January 3, 2009

A new year, new bike projects this season

Whew - I think I finally have kicked the annual winter blues. Don't know if that happens to you where you live. Here, it's dark in the morning and dark about 6 pm. Hard to get motivated and think ahead to spring when there's over four feet of snow on the ground and temperatures in the -20s and -40s Celsius. Yes, you are reading that right. It's dang cold here some days to make you want to crawl back into bed with a bunch of movies and hibernate until spring.

Well, the holiday season is over, and we survived, despite the frigid weather, snow storms, sewer pipes bursting, power outages, phone services out, and other interesting sagas. It's never dull around here. Kudos to our city and public utility folks who had to endure pretty harsh conditions to get the services restored. We are already working on more home built human powered vehicles (HPV) and electric vehicle project ideas for this year. The tentative list is as follows:

Electric Street Motorcycle - This plan will show the complete conversion of a mid-sized motorcycle from gas to electric. The plan will focus on getting the bike to legally pass a safety and will offer a longer range city only commuter version, as well as a faster highway version with shorter range.

Terminator Cycle Chopper - A follow-up to OverKill Chopper, this progressive style chopper will include a specific rear wheel with bicycle spokes and an "organic" frame style created from scratch. This show quality chopper will take garage hacking to all new limits.

Inline Tandem Trike - This inline tandem trike will have a sturdy cargo carrying frame like the LodeRunner Cargo Trike. Fully adjustable with independent shifting transmissions, it will be a perfect tandem for city driving, or on paths where width is important. Suspension, bodywork and electric options will also be shown.

Tri-Warrior Racing Tadpole Trike - The ultimate tadpole trike will feature dual front disc brakes, under seat steering, a low slung mesh seat and a 26-inch rear wheel for speed and performance. This plan will merge the best features of the most popular commercial trikes all in one plan.

Pocket Hog Mini Electric Chopper - This electric chopper will be a cross between Sparky and OverKill, with several variations using many inexpensive electric motors available on sites such as eBay. This electric scooter will be fun for all ages and offer decent speed and performance without annoying the neighbors.

Bike-E2 - a clone of the popular Bike-E Recumbent. Those who were lucky to own an original Bike-E have always given it high marks, so this plan will be a close replica of the great MWB recumbent from the now defunct company.

Flying Dutchman Cargo Bike - Another take of the popular Dutch style cargo carrying two wheeled bicycle. This version will be a human powered recumbent design capable of supporting heavy loads, and include load suspension, as well as parking outriggers.

Electric Mule - A general purpose electric people mover. Using a small rear car differential and any electric motor, this slow speed electric mover is a cross between a golf cart and small all-terrain vehicle. Great for moving guests around your neighborhood, pulling your garden cart around, and safe enough for the kids to use with proper adult supervision, of course.

Boneshaker Replica - This plan will detail an authentic 1800's boneshaker velocipede. The final bike will be completely ridable and authentic looking. The plan will detail the high speed rusting process and method to make the wood trimmings look properly aged.

Snowroller Winter Tadpole Trike - This Hammerhead style recumbent trike is perfect for winter riding. due to the dual front end design, it won't slip or tip, and the higher seating position is better for winter when motorized vehicle drivers are not as mindful of cyclists. Options will include front wind break and lighting system.

That's the tentative list, folks. Any changes will be posted here and in the Forum. There will be another blog update in a couple of days outlining more features and stuff we're planning for this year, so stay tuned.

Cheers, friends.