Gymnacyclidium– This sounds like something for which you could be administered a shot to clear it up. I thought these monstrosities worth looking at for the danger factor if nothing else. Let’s hope the young lady is wearing adequate undergarments as it seems certain she will be taking a spill or two in the very near future. I do like the curly cue fender thingy on the front though.
A bit of history about the bicycle: Invented more-or-less as we know it around 1817 with various propulsion systems added from about 1839 through the 1860s when bikes became more like what we know today. A major step forward occurred in 1888 when Dunlop developed the pneumatic tire, making cycling more comfortable and practical.
“Any Boy can learn himself to ride in a few hours…”
I am a fan of cycling and have a special place in my heart for the old contraptions from the early days. Based on the enormous price, the one pictured below must have been a rich kid’s toy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics $25 in 1869 is the equivalent of $432 today.
However, this model was a truly cutting-edge machine as it has pedals. Pedals were added to the coasting “balance bicycle” in the 1860s taking this otherwise limited toy into the realm of a true form of transportation. It’s good to note that the early “bone-shakers” were generally made of wood and were only made from metals sometime after 1870 as the technology became available.
From the March 1869 issue of Harper’s New Monthly magazine, found HERE.
Presented here are a few more gentlemen on velocipedes from an 1868 Harper’s Magazine for your viewing pleasure.
Finally, by the 1890s, bicycle sales were catering to women as well as men (and other children) and like the ad says, “Perfection Attained” in the Crescent Bicycle.
I wrote a little something about this a while back; see the post about the Bicimáquinas. Matt, from Makeshift sent me this link and asked me to share it. Have a look. It is pretty inspiring to see Makers of this caliber.
From their YouTube page:
“Power Hackers, a series made in collaboration with Autodesk, profiles unexpected makers and designers who are developing creative climate solutions.
This video profiles the inspiring work of Maya Pedal, a Guatemalan organization that produces “bicimaquinas,” or bicycle-powered machines. The income-generating devices range from blenders to milling machines. Along with clever engineering, director Mario Juarez has succeeded in fostering pride in the community’s work.
Makeshift is a field guide to hidden creativity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to follow original series like Power Hackers.”
I would love a human-powered world with creatures like this filling our highways, quietly and without belching exhaust into the air. Maybe we wouldn’t need to expend all our resources and youth expanding the empire to secure our ever-growing need for oil overseas.
As things stand today, there are few roads you could safely travel with this beast. But I’m just a dreamer. Is that window a subtle Oregon “O”?
Paul Elkins seems to be quite an inventor and a talented Maker. Here is an ingenious and practical shelter he created that weighs only 45 pounds (20 kg).
Tiny indeed but I love the low profile. Wind resistance is everything with human power.
Great combination of high and low visibility here. Automobile drivers are the biggest concern for cyclists and it is good to be seen on the road. When I was a full-time cyclist I was hit several times.
Extremely simple furnishings; lightweight plastic bins, some tiny cabinets, a small stove and speakers.
With the builder modelling for scale, the pod seems rather small. However, it provides a simple shelter from the weather and a place to keep some gear. Have a look at the summary HERE and check out his older work on the BLOG.
I have mentioned this unique little wagon before but it is worth revisiting as a near perfect mini traveller’s wagon. Günther Lorenz, a maker from Bayern designed and built this bike-towed caravan without a plan or significant financial outlay.
It makes me happy to know that this was built, fueled by beer and a dream, in three weeks worth of evenings. It weighs in at 55 kilograms empty (120 pounds) so it isn’t exactly light-weight but provides the comforts of a dry bedroom while on the road.
The body is 2 meters long by 1.04 meters wide (79 by 41 inches). The frame is constructed from 20 mm square steel tubing welded together and the 5 bows are made from 8 mm tubing covered with garden hose. The whole thing runs on 28″ wheels.
If you’re looking to build something like this, head over to Günther’s web page for a more complete photo-set. They’re thumbnailed on his page but can be downloaded and viewed at higher resolution.
Click the image to view the rest of the images. His website is in German but the photos speak for themselves.
In 1997, in San Andrés Itzapa in Guatemala, Maya Pedal Association began recycling scraps of bicycles into Bicimáquinas.
Bicimáquinas are pedal-powered blenders, washing machines and threshing machines, eliminating the need for fuel and electricity. Pumps are also possible, and are capable of extracting 30 liters of water per minute from 30-meter deep wells (electronic pumps reach just to 12 meters).
The idea of these ingenious contraptions emerged from the desire to help the farming families of the San Andrés community. The issue that gave rise to Maya Pedal was the expense and shortage of electricity and fuel in the village.
Carlos and Cesar, creators of Maya Pedal, have achieved an extraordinary result: a worthy project that does not pollute and is extremely fascinating in its involvement of volunteers from around the world who are building a fantastic pedal revolution.
A very interesting vardo build by artist Barry Howard. He created a guest post on Tiny House Talk earlier this summer to discuss his ultra-light, fold-down, micro vardo to tow behind his bike. It provides about 12 square feet (1.1 square meters) which is about the minimum needed for an average size human or two to sleep. As an artist, he uses it for carrying art supplies, transporting his finished paintings, and as a bedroom. With a fold down table inside, it provides a place out of the weather and a table outside to cook on.
I’ll bet he gets even more gawkers than us gas powered travelers.
Note the standard mounted bottle opener. No self respecting vardo traveler is without one.
Great details in the paint, and even a stained glass window. I wish I had these skills myself.
I love the mini mollycroft. It gives it a very classy look.
Creating a folding box like this adds a real degree of difficulty, especially while keeping it lightweight. He seems to have manged it beautifully.
Folded, it presents a low profile for less wind resistance and a low center of gravity.
The ultimate picnic bike. I like the fact that it is a bar on wheels but you could also pack i full of less fun stuff like food, tools, spare parts, or other flat goodies. There could be some cross-wind issues but the location is low and centered in the frame. Good use of space.