Boardtrack moped and Rule 34

Here, here and here I went on about the possibility of an early racing motorcycle inspired moped. I should have known. I’d already figured out (second link) that is wasn’t an original idea – now I discover that there’s at least one forum with a section devoted to the notion. My peregrinations started at Ride the Machine, with a post that led to Boardtrack Builder, Tobias Bj√∂rklund’s blog:

*

*

Which led to this build thread:

*

I very much like this picture (used for frame layout).

*

Which led to Halcyon Cycle Works, where one can get a frame, leaf spring fork or the whole enchilada:

*

First things first – I have a bicycle project (100% human power) to work on, but dreaming doesn’t cost a nickel. I wonder if there was a board track sidecar class…

A BLAST of Dazzle Camo

Via @roundmyskull, a post on a British dazzle camoufleur and Vorticist: Edward Wadsworth. The Design Student has indicated an interest in model building/painting (we’re going to ransack the house for his old Warhammer figurines – could be a nice side job); perhaps I should build a WWI ship model or 2 for him to dazzle up.

*

*

And a print from RISD’s dazzle plan collection. I reiterate – I need more wall space.

Three two-wheelers

If I do a three-fer on bikes, does that make it a tricycle post?

A nice old Mercian spotted at the Portsmouth Farmers Market:

*

Campy downtube shifters – the retro-grouch in me is well pleased.

*

A blast from the past logo (good memories):

*

The Mercian badge:

*

And a better version from elsewhere on Flickr:

Headbadge decal

*

My guess is that the pilots of these babies were next door at the coffee shop – getting their fill of hot drinks before the cool and breezy Halloween Parade.

*

Via Ride the Machine, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Simpson chain.

A draft:

via

The Guvnor Owner’s Club tells us the cyclist depicted is Jimmy Michael. Wikipedia’s entry on Michael includes this interesting bit:

His biggest engagement in Britain was the so-called Chain Race at Catford track in 1896. William Spears Simpson had invented the Simpson Lever Chain, which he was so insistent was an improvement over conventional chains that he staked part of his fortune on it.Pryor Dodge wrote:

“In the fall of 1895, Simpson offered ten-to-one odds that riders with his chain would beat bicyclists with regular chains. Later known as the Chain Matches, these races at the Catford track in London attracted huge crowds estimated between twelve and twenty thousand in June of 1896. Simpson’s team not only included the top racers – Tom Linton, Jimmy Michael, and Constant Huret – but also the Gladiator pacing team brought over from Paris. Pacers enabled a racer to ride faster by shielding him from air resistance. Although Simpson won the Chain Matches, they only proved that the Gladiator pacers were superior to their English rivals.[5]“

Michael was pitched against Charley Barden in the five-mile race. What happened next – indeed whether it happened in London or at another Chain Race in Germany – is now lost. But stories start with Michael taking a drink offered to him by Warburton[6] and end with his riding poorly to his falling off his bike, remounting and setting off in the wrong direction.[7] The one thing accounts agree on is that the crowd shouted “Dope!”[8]

Michael’s strange behaviour at this meeting, and his withdrawal, led him to accuse Warburton of doping him. Many rumours surrounded Warburton but none had been proven and he sued for libel.

*

And the approved ad – note the quints in the background and -I assume- pacing le Boulanger. Quads and quints were used for pacing before being supplanted by dernys.

via

*

The Simpson Lever Chain is a bit of oddness – equal parts unnecessary complication and perpetual motion machine. The chainwheel interface operates more or less conventionally, but the cog engages the top of the triangular link – thus the ‘leverage’?

The Simpson Chain, of which so much was heard at the last Stanley show and so little since, has entered the cycle field in a practical way through the medium of a company by whom it is to be promoted. Whatever may be its ultimate fate and merits it has friends and opponents whose views are as fervid as they are diverse. The Cyclist condemns it, denies the genuineness of the victories it undoubtedly has recently gained in contests and roundly contests its value. On the other band, so important and disinterested an organ as The Sporting and Dramatic News is one of the ardent supporters of its claims, says of it, that “There is nothing simpler than the Simpson chain, which can be applied to any safety cycle now in use at a very moderate cost.”*

A super secret preview of the KPK Wunderkammer

My partner in sciencecrime is pulling some of his collections out of mothballs and displaying same. We’re assembling quite an interesting little wunderkammer. I’m responsible for most things that respire, he for the things that don’t or have ceased to. The name we’ve assigned to the project is both a geologic descriptor and a mashup of our initials (the last K is for kolossal!!). I’m hoping to take a panorama shot in a bit, but for right now, a sneak peak:

The Hall of Local Skulls

*

The Hall of Porifera, Vespids and A Fish

*

Don Coyote

*

Lucy

*

Nepenthes truncata Paisan Highlands

*

“Atoms for Peas Piece Peace” Chemistry Set

*

The Siege Engine and Robot Annex

*

The Snowbird Ornithopter

Seems like it wasn’t all that long ago when any kind of human-powered flight was a very ambitious goal.

The Snowbird Human-Powered Ornithopter was designed and constructed by a team of students from the University of Toronto. On August 2nd 2010 it sustained level flight for 19.3 seconds, becoming the world’s first successful human-powered ornithopter.

*

More info at hpo.ornithopter.net.

Via a tweet from @bruces.

Yurt raising

Popped over to a yurt (ger) raising Tuesday. White Mountain Yurts were putting up a 24 footer not too far from work, so I did a quick lunchtime run.

The site is well back in the wood – maybe 800 feet from the pavement. There’s a trail leading back; you can get a pickup truck in, but I don’t think there’s going to be an eight car garage going up anytime soon (thumbs up).

*

Lattice wall, cable (transfers the roof load to the walls and keeps the roof/wall interface compressed – traditionally done by a woven band), crown/roof wheel and in the lower photo the roof wheel filler.

*

*

Lots of progress in the short time I was there.

*

And a picture of the finished product (via White Mountain Yurts’ FB page).


*

One possible plan I’m turning over in my mind for a few years down the road – big platform/deck with a bathhouse/kitchen/greenhouse hanging off one side and a yurt next to it as living space – maybe up (down) in Hancock or Washington counties (Maine).

Beautiful custom bike!

I saw a couple beautiful bicycles at the Portsmouth Farmer’s Market yesterday – sauntered over and struck up a conversation with their riders. Turned out one of the folks I was talking to was the guy who built the frames – Andrew Watson. His bike:

(embiggens maximally)

*

The cephalopodelic head badge:

*

And something that’s a must-have on my dream bike – the travel flask:

*

Absolutely gorgeous craftsmanship.

Bridgestone Picnica Wagon Trike

If I had 8 bills to spare, I would buy this instanter. The articulated rear end is wicked pissah, though I wonder how long chains would last with a twisting chainline. Also – drum brake(let) and a light bracket that you might be able to mount a dynamo on (and by carefully selecting a front tire with appropriate knobby sidewall, you could enjoy the sound of Dynamo Hum).

*

*

*

Via the bicyclelifestyle goog group.

BRIDGESTONE TRIKE PICNICA WAGON TRICYCLE BICYCLE BIKE – eBay item 350350828293 end time Aug-04-10 08:05:38 PDT.