Friday, July 30, 2010

Creative bike hacking in Massachusetts -

Hello Kathy and Brad,
I am so glad I found your site last year - I found it both inspiring and empowering. Since then, what followed was building a bicycle shed, that I call Neighborhood Bicycle Resource Center (in downtown Amherst, MA), and several bikes I am sending some pictures of here.

I have been biking mostly as a commuter for 15 years now, and since over three years I don't have a car (even before that I only shared one). That helps me to turn more resources toward biking as my exclusive mode of transportation over 1/2 mile distance.

Some of the pictures probably work without comment, but I include them here in case:

1) Neighborhood Bicycle Resource Center, or Beston Bicycle Barn (of Beston Street in Amherst): I believe the next twenty years will be utterly different in our lives, than the last twenty years, so BBB is to promote bicycling in my neighborhood by helping neighbors encounter and try out a variety of utilitarian (and even fun) bikes, and be able to fix them up themselves.

2) Old recumbent I screwed together 15 years ago from a single regular bike that I chopped up beyond recognition. The seat is so comfortable, that I will use it for a welded recumbent I am working on now.

3) Upright hand cycle: I built this as a prototype for a recumbent hand cycle to come, but it turned out so well, that I have been using it for a three mile (one way ) commute for four months now. My arms and shoulders expanded considerably since. (couldn't weld, as the gooseneck is aluminium, the rest is steel).

4) Tandem bicycle: my first larger welding job. Simple, strong and sweet.

5) Recumbent: from a child's bike (that frame was lighter than the BMX frame I could also have used), that Marianne is riding happily.

My plans are now: a road warrior for better winter commuting (currently I use a regular hybrid bike with studded tires) and a convertible recumbent-style spin cycle/low racer, as seen in Bicycle Builders' Bonanza, but maybe with a hand-cycle attachment.

Thank you for the excellent work and for the inspiration!

~  Gabor, Amhert, MA

Amazing stuff, Gabor. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures. Hope it will inspire others, too.