Friday, 2 November 2007


After all the planning and drilling and drinking we f*cking made it!!! I couldn't be arsed writing about it, coz lets face it people prefer pictures, so here's a comic strip of the mission:

Click here to download a comic strip of the big adventure

Reflection: Steve and I were talking about it the other day, particularly the bizarre situation of pedalling 100 kgs up the hills. It hurt so badly, and it felt like your heart was about to burst out of your ribcage, but you absolutely could not stop becuase if you did you, and the 100kgs, would slip backwards down the hill. Bikes don't ride backwards - so that would have meant a skid, tip over, crash, mangle, gears, cuts, gease, blood, snaps, breaks, ends etc. There's not many tough situations in my life where you HAVE TO KEEP ON GOING. And even though sometimes we were literally inching our way to the finish withs pinning rear wheels, we didn't slip backwards once, and we loved it.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Someone else did it too!

It wasn't for towing tipi's, it pulled a solar powered PA instead, but it was fantastic to see someone else having the same idea and doing it. The struts and linkages are just how I'd imagined they would be for a two-up design. Found it in one of the green fields at Glasto but was too out of it for a test ride. Ah wellll...

Monday, 28 May 2007

The solar twist

As an aside to the travelling part of this mission, there is another facet to be talked about. Me and Stevesy (and any of the rest of the crew who can be arsed) are gonna be a part of the festival this year... we're making solar tea on his solar cookers and giving it away for free. Steve's also come up with a new design for a solar oven which we'll bake chocolate brownies in. So amidst all the logistics of getting the trailer up and running, here's some wonderful footage of me and Steve making the hood for his oven.

You can learn more about Steve (and Duncan)'s incredible free energy contraptions
here. They too take great pride in blagging absolutely all of their materials. Respect!

Sunday, 13 May 2007


Our mate Anil has come up with the goods on hills! He's a bicycle nut and has this brilliant program on his computer which looks at your route and generates a profile of the elevations.

So below is the result from AK's house to the sunrise festival:

(Click it for a close up).

Cheers buddy!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Donations get trigger happy

Trigger has saved the day by donating a beaut of a bike, a Secialized HardRock, so now we've got two fully working bikes which can pull the load! It comes with some fat daddied up pedals, and some caliper brakes with some good stopping power. This is what it would look like if we gave it a spring clean...

Appy daze, nice one trig!!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Johnny's two pence worth...

"Wot you need is 16 skateboards and a trapese.... attached a skateboard to each of the tipi poles then set the trapese high up inside so you can look out the smoke hole you could use the tipi flaps as sails and sail the bloody thing to wherever you need to get it to.... bicycle power tut."

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The prototype bipi

Today I was dubbed insane by a guest who came round for lunch. A 40kg weight for a bike trailer will, apparently, make this mission impossible. Rubbish. Good name for a film though. So I went out into the yard and got a feel for what I was up against.

This time when I went outside I was in Wales with all the hardware and tools I could dream of. I sawed off a fence post for the crossbar, found some rails to simulate the poles and tied them to a sacktruck at the back.

I'm notoriously crap with knots, but here's how I managed to string the crossbar and poles together. Also, two ties run from the ends of the cross bar to the bike frame to keep the crossbar horizontal:

And it worked!!! Hahaha! Tim, if you're reading, I'll have the 'norick tc-2' with the 'spectra blue' visor please:

AND THEN, I put not one, but TWO feeds sack on the back of the poles. That 50kgs motherfu****! And it went - and slightly up hill too! So all the doubters can kiss the fattest part of my ass.

That said, there's a few things which need some work:

- We need some hard core luggage straps to tie these poles onto. Nylon won't cut it.
- Gonna have to make that carriage out of something suitable for the road. The sack truck wheels were far too small. Bike wheels would be perfect - gonna have to get welding.
- The poles got in the way of steering a bit, so we need to play with the geometry of the carriage and the crossbar...

Suggestions, ideas, sexual favours all completley welcome.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Reeeeal bikes

The bike appeal is going jolly well. Big thanks to Susan Macnab and Simon Field who replied to the notice board notice (board notice) and donated these beauties to the cause, and Shirley's offered some of the kids bikes! (The kids may or may not know this)

We still need more though, so if you've got an old set of wheels, we're all ears.

Designs are starting to jump out at us just looking at these old rigs, brilliant, ta!

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Checking out the route

Me, Chris and that bastard Tim went for a ride to check out the route we'll be taking to the festival. (Fantastic photography from Chris here...)

It's fairly flat, but looking at even a shallow gradient and just imagining the effort at pulling that load is quite scary. I don't reckon my knees are up for this.

Only one bike

OK, lets chuck out the idea of cycling side by side. Welding bikes together is a blag. And if we have individual rigs all the constraint issues go away. So lets have two separate rigs, each carrying half the total weight.

Here's the concept:

This simulates the horse thing a bit better, and has way fewer problems with disassembly... the clever part is that it uses the poles as the chasis for the trailer. A way better use of resources.

Just got off the phone with Bodge after chatting about the idea of a sofa bed of nails. Haaaha!! Ahhhhh... 'appy daze.

The Bet

Hahahaa! Whilst out on the piss last night with Tim, Chris and Chucky, I explained the grand idea. Tim said that it couldn't be done. Twat! So I told him to put his money where his mouth was and we shook on it. The bet was for (after deliberating over bikes, jackets and money) a Shoei helmet.

It's on.

Bicycle made for two

Here's one idea:

The bikes would need to be braced, and steering linked but it would be a pretty comfortable way of doing it. I like the idea of cycleing side by side. A standard tandem bikes would mean staring at Andy's sweaty ass all the way to Yeovil which would be a disaster.

It will probably suffer from over constraint I think. But the biggest problem here we've realised is design for disassembly. There's a lot of hardware here, and it need to be stored in Andy's garage for most of the year, so this ain't gonna cut it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

I don't get it...

We need to design and make a trailer to pull a tipi using only pedal power. This blog explains the problem, with updates on what's been going down recently.

Me and AK and lots of others (in here) made a tipi a few years back for sittin in, and until recently we've always pulled it around with a car. But tipis and cars don't really go together. They're from completely seperate eras - it's like imagining dinosaurs co-existing with us humans (which would be over really quickly, according to those in the know: we'd either get shredded by a T-rex or accidentally trodden on by a big old Brontesaurus. But that's not the point, and tipi's don't eat people anyway).

So if we can't use a car, how else can we move it? Well the Indians used their horses and strapped the poles on to create a travois:

We're fresh out of horses, so we're going to use bikes instead. Here's the rest of the challenge:

- We've got no money
- We haven't got any bikes either
- The load includes 12 x 20 ft long poles, 60kgs of canvas and festival kit!!
- The fist gig (to the Sunrise festival in Yeovil) will be an 88 mile round trip
- AK's got an OCD, and Ed's got cooties.

Here's the tipi:

Here's the route:

Here's AK:

And here's Ed:

We need to design some kind of trailer to pull the load. As far as we know, nobody's done this before so everything below is a result of genius ideas had at the pub, and from stuff robbed out of skips or kindly donated by your good selves... we're always on the scrounge, so anything you have to donate would be "super"!

{Blogs read from the bottom up, so if you're interested in reading from the start of the thread, scroll up froim here}