July 05, 2004

Larry Black Goes Bars Over on Mayors' Ride

On his ride from Baltimore to Washington DC, well known recumbent bicycle dealer, Larry Black of College Park and Mt Airy Bicycles, went over the bars on his Messicek Hi Wheel this last Friday. He and a supporting cast of four other cyclists, including Michael Krushinsky, shown here laying under Larry's bike:

made the ride as a part of the third annual National Mayors' Ride.

btw: As Larry sez, "It's one of the favorite crowd pleasers these days, especially with a volunteer. It's usually a 'hey, what's that idiot doing in the road!!, Get outta the way, I'm heading right for you!!"

Posted by mkreig at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2004

Update: Secrets of a Bike Innovator Gone Wild

Went over to Bicycle Innovator, Tom Kabat's laboratory, also called Boyland for the reasons described in the news article cited below and wow has he been busy. He is learning how to weld, the reason for my visit, and as such the possibilities for what he foresees now have no limits.

He showed me a notebook chock full off new bicycles innovations that armed with a welder, a metal saw, tools and a backyard full of other people's discards will soon become mobility devices of the highest order.

Here for example is the Ski Bike he built around an abandoned snow ski:

The slight flex in the seat, makes the bike, tho sturdy, feel very much alive. Beyond the comfort he has engineered into the bike, it also has an incredible turning radius and despite its small wheels, it is extremely stable.

So that he can experiment with such important considerations as the best hand position, chain line and seat incline, he utilizes his own CAD system. Called Cardboard Aided Design, it consists of life-size cardboard cut outs of himself and his daughter who he also builds bikes for. All of the joints move! He lays it all out as per this picture:

and then uses sticks of various lengths to start playing with the new ideas he sees in his very active mind's eye!

In the picture of Tom, a coast-to-coast cycling veteran, he is wearing a mask he made out a clear plastic soda bottle and packing material:

WoW!! Keep an eye on this guy!!

Palo Alto Weekly story about Tom entitled:"In the garden of bikes and garbage"

==========10/26/03 Post================

Tom Kabat's driftwood recumbent:

Is there a wood recumbent in your future? Better yet, how about a driftwood bent? Made from recycled children's bikes parts? Tom Kabat, an engineer for the city of Palo Alto, has created a handful of fascinating such designs that he rides about town including a tandem and one with a four inch razor scooter front wheel.

Nor is any welding involved. And believe it or not the ride is actually quite sublime. Performance, handling and comfort are all much compromised but if you want to be able to say you built your own designer bent for pennies on the dollar, a wood bike might just be the answer. Before you begin, however, you might want to consult with Tom. All of his creations are very clever indeed and he may be able to save you many hours and much frustration. As well, he has many ideas for how these machines can be made long distance worthy...

Tom can be reached at: tomkabat@aol.com

On 10/30/03 Tom replied with this:

I have since replaced the cranks and bottom bracket (to a more solid one piece), added another chain idler (for quietness) and put 3 inches of foam and a Hawaiian motif seat cover on the seat and back (for ass-thetics). My wife wants me to glue sand and shells to the plywood and I need to work on a kelp covered cable (or just an old boat rope with shackles). I'm commuting on the driftwood bike and just winterized 3 others with a coat of deck sealer.

I wonder about the protective effects of deck sealer on bike chain. :-)

Tom Kabat

Posted by mkreig at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)