Monday, July 28, 2003

Twisted Gazelle

Rather than build a CHUNK bike from scratch in Brooklyn for Bikesummer 2003 (which, retrospectively, would have been the better choice), I struck upon the idea of building a fork ahead of time in Portland. This fork would be placed in a specially created box that met the 62-inch requirement for checked luggage.

I would then also create a box for a rear wheel (always tough to scrounge out of the pile), and take these two boxes with me on my flight to New York. Once there, I would scrounge a frame at the then-fledging CHUNK 666 NYC Lab, and presto: one CHUNK bike.

The success of the experiment that was the Biscuit gazelle fork was still fresh in my mind. Namely, I was impressed with the overall lightness and agility of Biscuit, so I figured I would build another gazelle fork.

BUT, I would weld the fork ends in a DNA double-helix style, a Twisted Gazelle.

Bold!

Innovative!

Stylish!


Were words that came to mind when I planned the fork.

I wanted to get one full 360 degree twist into the fork (if that makes any sense), but once I started actually cutting old forks up to make this Twisted Gazelle, I realized the fork would end up being 6 feet long or something, and probably not very sturdy. This had to be a short(er) fork, especially seeing as I wasn't sure what kind of frame it was going to end up on.

Anyways, at the end of the day the fork was done and I threw it on a frame kicking around to see whether the fork could take any kind of stress at all.



She pulled pretty hard to the right, but the fork didn't immediately collapse, and didn't show any immediate signs of bendage.



I called it good and carried out the rest of my shipping plan.

To make a long story short, once in NY I found myself with not the greatest pile of bikes to pick from, and ended up with a smaller frame that the one I used in Portland. This, I think, caused the fork to be raked out further than in Portland, and one Critical Mass ride and one Chunkathalon were all it took cause the fork to start sagging up near the top.



As a small group of us started back to our Brooklyn lair from a post-Chunkathalon party, we had to go over some cobblestone streets, and 'twas the end of Twisted Gazelle.