Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Aquacycle Test Ride / Float

With the CHUNK 666 Aquacycle expedition to the Pleasure Lagoon quickly approaching, Megulon-5 figured he'd take his aquacycle for a test-float. Mgln5's aquacycle was the infamous PlatformThing (re-christened the Hesperus) with a squirrel-fan welded to the front between the two front wheels. The belt-drive for this was integrated with the chain-drive. Then he secured a couple of empty plastic barrels to the bike for floatation. We rode to eastbank of the Willamette, under the Hawthorne Bridge, and the aquacycle appeared in good working order.

We had to ease the bike down the steep grade to the bank with a crew of four people. Then we edged the bike into the polluted, Superfund waters.

Huzzah! The thing floated! Mgln5 started pedalling, and the bike... sorta bobbed around and floated upriver as the wind pushed it. Later analysis would deduce that the fan was too deep in the water (about two-thirds submerged when it should have been half). Still, it was pretty cool to see a bike float around.

Pedro dove into the river and helped Mgln5 get the bike ashore. We chit-chatted with some passerbys, and started to leave. But Mgln5 got a little full of himself and rode down a small grade at a funny angle, and, well...

Normally a taco'd wheel doesn't bother us. But, as you can see, in this case the wheel is almost entirely enclosed by the plastic barrels, and is further complicated by the weight of the bike. Mgln5 had to leave the bike where it laid for the night and come back the next day with a new wheel. At least, for once, you could leave a bike unlocked overnight and not worry about anything.