in 1983, [Steve Roberts] packed up a Tandy 100 laptop and a 5-watt solar panel, fleeing suburbia on his recumbent bicycle on what would become a 17,000 mile journey that forever cemented his place in the geek pantheon…not just as a technology hacker, but as one of the preeminent “life hackers,” pursuing his own dreams on his own terms and inspiring others to do the same.
In this 1989 video, recently unearthed by Hack a Day, [Roberts] reflects on the first 16,000 miles of his voyage, detailing some of the technology that went into his then-current ride, the Winnebiko II.
Continue reading “Vintage Video: Computing Across America”
The earliest bicycles were made from wood. Nearly two centuries later, some garage tinkerers still turn to this most traditional of materials for their own creations, since welding one requires experience and tools beyond the reach of many. Resembling Gilligan’s Island props, the resulting bikes are both artistic and great fun, but not very practical for real use; often heavy, ill-fitting or lacking durability.
[Boris Beaulant’s] birch laminate Zelo, on the other hand, has cleaner lines than anything you’d see in an IKEA showroom. Not content with an ordinary two-wheeler, he’s tackled a three-wheeled recumbent trike, which requires even finer tolerances. Two months and over 1,300 miles later, the trike is still rolling strong through the French countryside, proving its mettle as legitimate transportation and not just a garage novelty. [Beaulant’s] build log (Google translation here) offers some insights into the development of this masterpiece, starting with prior woodworking projects (furniture, rolling toys and a children’s bike) and finding clever solutions to problems such as creating a mold of his own back for a custom-contoured seat.
[Justin Lemire-Elmore] spent one month riding his electric bike across Canada last summer. He made the journey from Vancouver to Halifax in 30 days using a mere $10 worth of electricity to recharge his bike. He put together a rather bizarre looking semi-recumbent bicycle to hold all of his gear. The motor controller, charge controller, battery packs, and lighting system were all his own design. He has a captivating 2 hour presentation embedded below in which he describes all the problems he had with his equipment during the trip as well as all the great experiences the journey offered. Continue reading “E-bike Across Canada For $10”
If you liked our post about bikes and skates with weed whacker engines but want more power and more challenge, we have good news. We’ve found some great instructions on adding motors to recumbent bicycles, which we’ll take you through after the break.
Continue reading “Electric Recumbent Bicycles”
While I’m waiting for my last stepper motor, I’ve been pondering my electric motorcycle build. While eyeballing batteries, I ran across a really impressive human/electric recumbent bike project. [Bob Dold] built this for his M.S.M.E. Thesis project. The frame was built from bonded aluminum. The flat parts were cut via waterjet service, and the rest were machined by the college’s machine shop. The 1000w motor (and controller) came from a Schwinn X1000 electric scooter. Looks like a four link suspension (plus steering and shock linkages). Interestingly, he’s using some USB data loggers for voltage and current(with a shunt) and combining it with GPS data to track real world performance.