SkyWalker - Section 3
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See the video
What good is a rolling
piece of art without your personal signature? Because SkyWalker
attracts loads of attention, I figured it would be a good idea to
add my website address to the frame so other local (loco) bike
builders could get a hold of me. The banner (Photo 24) is
made of 1/16 inch sheet metal cut on a plasma table.
Photo 24 - Adding the bling.
To make SkyWalker stand
out against the bright daytime sky, I decided to paint it completely
black. As you can see in Photo 25, the dark frame really stands out
against a light colored background. At first glance, the complex
design does not reveal any indication as to how it is actually
possible to steer the beast. Many people think I have to lean to
steer the bike.
Photo 25 - High contrast paint job.
SkyWalker turned out to be
extremely easy to ride once you learned to trust the bike. With a
few pushes, you could casually climb the ladder while the bike
rolled ahead, keeping it under total control. Once at the top, you
jump in the pilot's seat and start to pedal. getting back down was
simply the reverse procedure. If you visit the website shown on the
banner (Photo 26), you can see a video of SkyWalker in action.
Photo 26 - Yep, that's my home in cyberspace!
Because of the rigid
frame, SkyWalker can carry as many riders that have room on the
ladder. At one point, I had four people (including myself) hanging
off the frame as I rode around.
Once you beat your fear of heights, SkyWalker rides exactly like any bicycle, and it gives you a view of
several blocks in all directions. I often took the tallbike out on
the street and felt very safe as I could see so far ahead, and I was
certainly visible in traffic to say the least. When I had to stop at
an intersection, I just climbed down the ladder - a process that
took about 5 seconds. Getting back to the top was as easy as giving
the frame a push and then climbing back up the ladder.
Photo 27 - SkyWalker is also a vertical tandem.
I think SkyWalker really turned out well
considering it was hacked together in a weekend with no real plan using basic
tools and scrap bicycle parts. I am now working on a 30 foot tall bike using the
same basic design as SkyWalker, and plan to break my
Record again sometime soon. The new tallbike will be called "Bad
Altitude", and will feature two pairs of cranks so the pilot can get
the bike up to speed before ascending the 25 foot ladder.
Well, there you have it! Crazy ideas turned into rolling art using
nothing but scrap from the local dump and a few basic tools. You
don't always have to have a logical reason for building crazy
contraptions - sometimes it's just about exercising your creativity
and having a good time!
See the video
| Section 3