Heather from Stitchcraft performs LiveOnBike at the Vancouver Bicycle Music Festival. Photo: Momentum
See all the highlight photos on the Momentum blog.read more
My dad’s been suggesting that I test ride El Arbol as soon as possible before sinking the hours into custom fiberglass work on the trunk, roots and branches. Not a bad idea. OK, so it didn’t have brakes or pedals, but at least now the frame has at lease now been heat treated.
The ride was great. Tall bike people know that a tall object can actually be easier to balance. The classic example: try balancing a ruler in your palm, then try a yard stick. As you can see in the photo below, El Arbol is about a foot taller than Jay’s tall bike, part of his BayView Space Agency fleet. This makes it easier to balance at slow speeds.
On my first coast, I mounted using the hood of a pickup truck and had Ydran and Adam give a running push in the slightly downhill direction on Channing. The ride is solid. No noticeable frame flex, and that’s before the added stiffness of the fiberglass trunk and branch. The balance was easy, even at slow speeds. I only one little adrenaline jolt on the whole test ride, when I took a roundabout and experienced rapid decellaration. By the end I was doing my own running starts and dismounts in both the uphill and downhill directions. It was Adam’s idea to jam some pipe in the captain’s bottom bracket. That was hope stepped up and down onto the frame, as you can see above.
I had been a bit concerned that the small wheels that originally came with the A2B would make the ride twitchy or sluggish, but it was neither. The traction was great, ans slow speed manuevers felt smooth.
I knew that Jay was leaving for his honeymoon yesterday, and that Tuesday would be our last work session. We welded in the cable management for the root-deployment system. I’ll post more photos soon.
On Wednesday I borrowed a truck to get the frame over to Garner Heat Treating in Oakand. The guys were totally pro and enthusiastic about the project.
Apparently there are two ways to restore strength to an aluminum frame after it’s been welded. The more involved one heats the frame to within 30 degrees of liquid, which leaves the frame soft and succeptible to bending under its own weight. Typically at this point bike builders put the frame back in a jig to check alignment. Because El Arbol is a giant frame and a one off, there’s no jig. So we chose the other method, which brings up the frame only to about 300-400 degrees. This method stress relieves the welds but not to the full ‘T6′ strength of the aluminum. With the average wall thickness of El Arbol’s frame being much greater than that of say a Cannondale, I’m not too worried about the strength being compromised.
After bringing the frame back to Rock The Bike, I waited till about 6 last night before ditching the computer and throwing parts back on it. We tied the roots against the frame, since the deployment system isn’t ready yet, and I through an Envy Green Down Low Glow on the bottom tube. Lots of props from the neighborhood, a good omen!
As lead singer Rushad Eggleston sings and plays his wireless electric cello, 5 pedalers supply the pedal power on the Biker Bar and two electric Mundos, while checking the status of the pedal power system with our 6′ pedalometer.read more
Interning at Rock The Bike’s Berkeley, CA workshop has been an exciting and challenging learning experience. RTB is a fast growing sustainable company with a diverse product line to manage so there is no such thing as a dull day with repetitive tasks. I worked closely with their team of engineers to refine their existing product line. I had a hand in the prototyping/testing, CAD revisions, and assembly of the Mundo cargo bikes. I worked with their fabricator Gian Bongiorno building Fender Blender Pros. As the human-powered intern, I worked extensively troubleshooting and building The Biker Bar.
I had a blast running pedal-powered performances on the weekend at The Makers Faire, Bicycle Music Festival, and the San Francisco Marathon to name a few. I loved brainstorming with RTB engineers on how to make a design better, then stepping into the workshop and physically building my design. On the technical end, I helped spec generators and gearboxes, learned electrical principles, analyzed forces placed on a design, and used CAD. On the physical end, I performed metalworking, woodworking, electrical work, bicycle maintenance, and operated sound equipment. Working with the RTB team was a very worthwhile and personable experience. If you’re looking for a jam-packed insight into bike culture I would highly recommend applying for an internship with RTB!
If you’re a bike person in the Northwest who’s been following our entries about the San Francisco and Chico Bicycle Music Festivals, it’s now time to ride to your own.
August 15 – Eugene, OR
August 16 – Portland, OR
August 22 – Seattle Bicycle Music Festival
August 29 – Vancouver, BC
Morning ride: Crew pumping up the District for Sunday Streets.
First we loaded the Biker Bar with hundreds of pounds of audio gear.
The custom V1 Mundo trailer hitch flexed a bit under this extreme load, but basically it was a very controllable ride.
Adam entertained in Golden Gate Park on the way to the beach.
We set up a 5-bike Pedal Powered Stage on the Great Highway — two electric Mundos and the Biker Bar.
Cousin Ken pitching in on the Biker Bar, with Arie along for the ride.
Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, with guests Mafiosa Felice, Terry, and Jared May.
The scene from a nearby dune. Photo: Steve Rhodes
Cops threatened to shut down Tornado Rider.
So we moved.
And they shredded the venue.
Hoop Jam with Movement Maker Mei.
All photo montages: Steve Rhodes
This is the 36V 18Ah Sealed Lead Acid rechargeable battery that helps us get up and over the hill from the Mission to the beach.
Rolling the ‘Long Things’ bundle.
Fully loaded Biker Bar, probably 275 pounds of gear, including bass drum, two JBL PRX535′s, and the Fossil Fool tent.
We made $52 in tips. Thanks to all the fans who pitched in for Tornado Rider and the Rock The Bike crew. This is what we did with the money.
Late night gear return mission.
Thanks to Raul and Warren for their theatrics at this year’s Earth Hour celebration in San Francisco.
On to technical details. Note how Raul fills the pitcher about 1/3 to halfway with ice, then adds the alcohol and juices to just over the top of the ice.
Then Warren pedals for about 30 seconds to wild applause from the crowd.read more
*August 6th*, 4:30-11PM. California Academy of Sciences *Nightlife Series*
Nightlife is a Thursday night thing where they turn a natural sciences
museum into a brainy club environment. The scientists and leafy green sea
dragons are still there, but now there’s dance music and expensive alcohol.
So each thursday they have a theme and this time Rock The Bike is the theme.
We’ll be pedal powering a 4-hour DJ set by Jeff Stallings of the show Below
Zero on Energy 92.7. Below Zero is a pretty good show. Here’s his music:
http://www.snuggythugg.com , click music and listen to any of the
“chillhouse” mixes in the player on the upper right.
We’ll also be coming up with our own cocktail to make on the Fender Blender,
next to one of the expensive bars. This is our first professional bar
And at the beginning of the event while a huge line is forming outside, I’ll
be street performing at the entrance line with Mafi and Jared. We may also
have entertainers perform in Africa Hall (where my penguins at?).
We need a crew of 3-4 people to ride to the gig. Please meet at 935 York St.
at 4PM. So far we have Jared and Adam Pastana, and possibly Adam Aufdencamp.
One more roadie would help.
The Event ends at 10. We tear down and go on a late night gear return
mission while bumping a new mix <http://www.mediafire.com/?w2ymjjeyjj3>from
DJ Bento. Back at my place by 11ish.
In addition to roadies, we can use the following: pedal power tech, blending
specialists, pedal power coaches, video/photo wing, promo wing, etc. I think
we can have up to 10 people on our crew list that night.
This is a low-paying event. Roadies will make $75. The rest of the crew will
be unpaid, but the museum will provide all of us a crew dinner at 6:30 and
Pedal Powered Stage at Sunday Streets, and Rock The Bike beach party
10AM Cruise to the beach from the Mission District with Rock The Bike crew. Meet at York & 21st.
11AM: Set up stage.
12PM: Fossil Fool with Mafiosa Felice (cuatro, percussion) and Jared May (bass).
1PM: Tornado Rider.
2PM: Event ends. Take down stage, move on to Rock The Bike beach party. Bring frisbees, sunscreen. We’ll provide a bunch of food and blendables. Bring more to keep the party going until sunset, or until we feel like biking home.
Location is Great Highway @ Noriega.
Stage will be on the road and the dancing will be in the sand.
Roadies, we need to establish how we wrap cables. What do think of this one? Looks like we’ll need a lot of velcro, but it will keep our cable clutter down.read more