Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aqua-Propulsion Laboratories*

The CHUNK 666 Aquacycle expedition to the Pleasure Lagoon quickly approaching, Megulon-5 figured he'd take his aquacycle for a test-float.

His aquacycle? 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. A couple of empty plastic barrels were then secured to the bike for floatation.

We rode to the eastbank, under the Hawthorne Bridge.

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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.

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It floats. Megulon began 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.

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Pedro dove into the river and helped Megulon5 get the bike ashore. We chit-chatted with some passerbys, and started to leave. But Megulon5 got a little full of himself and rode down a small grade at a funny angle, and, well...

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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. Megulon5 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.

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* This is an old post which didn't make the migration from the old blog, but now with better, flickr-hosted pics.