Monday, May 25, 2009

June newsletter is online

The June 2009 Atomic Zombie newsletter is now online, and it's growing every month. This month's features include:

* Family bike build
* Garage news
* Arcturus Camper Motorhome
* Gallery profiles
* Crank It Up
* Bicycle friendly states
* Montreal public bicycle system
* Portland's Pedalpalooza
* Western Australia's Munda Biddi Trail
* Builder feedback
* Events and recipes

Submit your story ideas, events, recipes, and bike builders tips to KoolKat by the 20th of each month. Log onto the Builders Forum to contact KK.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Builders gallery updates, Terminator Chopper, Arcturus Human and Solar Powered Motorhome

After days of rain, hail and wind, the sun has finally come out in full force. Let's hope it sticks around for awhile. Not good weather for bike riding. My poor DeltaRunner Trike is still sitting in the garage awaiting its maiden voyage this year. The forecast looks good all weekend, though, so who knows. Maybe take my camera and go for a ride along the limited recreation trails we have around here.

The thing that sucks the most is you get into the groove, enjoying the scenery and fresh air, then suddenly the trail ends and you're faced with four lanes of traffic. Um, did no one think ahead before designing the trail system? Methinks not. There are supposedly plans to extend the system, but I'm not holding my breath.

Most cyclists here refuse to ride on the road, preferring to take the sidewalks whenever possible. Although there's a by-law against this, you have to weigh the consequences, breaking the by-law vs. risking your life by riding on the road. Let's face it, with today's distractions, traffic congestion, and road construction, drivers have enough trouble getting from point A to point B, let alone pay attention to the road and cyclists. I'm not sure if this summer I will be converted to a sidewalk cyclist or not.

In the meantime, the Builders Gallery was updated this week with 17 new entries choppers, quads, trikes, tandems, trailers, long wheel base recumbents, electrics and fun bikes. Below are a few newest additions to the Atomic Zombie family. Check out all of the amazing builds at .

We were very impressed to see this OverKill style chopper built by Dan of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Another cool project was submitted by Mike of El Paso, Texas, who uses his bike daily for work, so he built a practical trailer to haul his work equipment.

And, this StreetFighter style quadcycle by Ron of Michigan:

Work continues on the Terminator Chopper, as well as Arcturus. Still working on the Arcturus web site. It is taking longer than expected. This weekend will be devoted to the Terminator Chopper build, though. And, stay tuned for the June newsletter, which will be online next week.

Have a safe long weekend to our friends in the USA as you celebrate Memorial Day on Monday the 25th. See you back here safe and sound.

Cheers, friends.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Arcturus Human and Solar Powered Motorhome comes to life

After weeks of phone calls, emails and online searches, we finally found the differential needed for the long awaited Arcturus Camper Cycle. This will be an ongoing project and everything will be detailed on another web site soon. We hope to have it up and running within a week. In the meantime, here's a preview of the progress so far.

The first part will be a 1978 Jeep front differential

After much hunting, I have finally scrounged up an older front Jeep differential to be used as the "foundation" for the drive, steering, and braking systems on Arcturus. Initially, I thought a Jeep differential might be too heavy for this project, but after adding up the weight of a home built front wheel drive steering and suspension system, I realized that this was definitely the way to go.

By using this 150 pound Jeep differential to contain most of the complex mechanical systems, I actually save weight and end up with an extremely robust and easy to repair design that will last a lifetime. The plan is to adapt a belt drive to the differential so that a very powerful and efficient DC motor can drive the two front wheels. The steering, suspension, and braking system are also included in the front differential, so all of the complex and mission critical mechanics are contained in one area, allowing the rest of the frame and cabin to be made as light as possible. We will be sitting directly over the front wheels in the final design, so it will be easy to connect another control rod to the right control arm in order to create the under seat steering system for the pilot.

Taking the differential apart

It took the help of a diagram to pull this differential apart properly, an although following instructions is normally against my religion, I decided to take the easy way out this once. All of the bearings and shafts were completely cleaned, revealing that all of the important bits were in perfect order with minimal wear and tear. Maybe I got lucky here and this differential came out of a young Jeep with a blown motor? When you scrounge up your parts from a scrap yard, you never know what you are going to get, so luck was on my side so far.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Garage is ready for more bike building

Yes, it has happened. The Atomic Zombie garage is clean, organized and ready for another bike building season. Sure, there's snow in the forecast over the next few days, but that won't affect our plans.

It took Brad a full day to get things back on track and take inventory of parts he has. Next week, we begin the hunt for a Jeep differential for the Arcturus Camper Cycle.

But, in the meantime, work will begin on the newest chopper, 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.

Lastly, May is National Bike Month in the USA. The League of American bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 11-15 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 15. There are many events taking place across the country listed on the official National Bike Month web site: .

Cheers, friends.