Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I can beat this storm... or not! Bonus: Lego Bicycle

I woke up this morning to find ominous skies to the west. The radar was showing storms passing through Topeka headed roughly toward Kansas City. I figured if I got my act together and hit the road a bit early, I should be okay.

As you might imagine, I was wrong. The intersection of Merriam Lane and Johnson Drive marks the last place I can catch a Johnson County bus without deviating from my usual workbound route. With lightning growing ever closer (some strikes were within 3/4 mile), I decided to stop here and check the bus schedule (which I keep stored in my phone's photos). I was about 5 minutes ahead of the Dreaded bus. I threw the raincovers on the panniers and waited.

With my wife gone this week, I'm getting pretty bored. After the Monday night ride, I finished working on a Lego bicycle I'd started the night before. The end result is a full-suspension fixed-gear mountain bike with a kickstand.

The "chainring" is actually on the inside of the frame. Not terribly realistic.

The rear "cogs" - The rubber "chain" has enough stretch that I can use either of these two "gears"

The fully functional rear suspension actually works quite well. It borrows from the suspension design used in some of the Lego RoboRider kits. I wish I could say I was clever enough to have engineered it myself.

It uses a worm gear inside the housing. The housing has lots of slack for the worm gear to move back and forth. A rod is placed through the housing, the worm gear, and another bracket. The bracket is then held with a rubber band to supply tension. Finally, a round gear meshes with the worm and the rear stay assembly is mounted to the gear. When pressure is applied, the stays rotate the gear, which pushes the worm gear forward, and it springs back thanks to the rubber band.

The front "suspension" is just for looks and does not actually work. It's just some LEGO tubing threaded over a bar that's been beefed up by wide pulleys.

A kickstand on the back looks pretty ridiculous, but this baby won't stand up in my cubicle at work all by itself, so it stays.

Bike inverted with me "pedaling"

Another angle of the finished product.

This evening, I've got some serious running around to do. I'll probably do it by bus and bike. Should be fun.

Random Tunage:
Orbital - Impact USA (The Earth Is Burning)
Dynamix II - Begin Bombing

Begin Bombing is a techno track built around a quote by Ronald Reagan that was meant to be humorous. Unfortunately, the microphone was on, and the sound byte was captured forever.


Jennifer said...

Awww... I know that's probably not the reaction you were expecting, but I think it's adorable.

Apertome said...

The lego bike rocks!

Noah said...

Jen: I was more sharing the laborious fruits of my excess boredom than I was really looking for a reaction but "Awww" is fine. :P

Michael: I've already gotten similar comments at work haha. I hope no one steals it, because those big wheels come in really handy when I actually need to build something with the MindStorms kit.

... and yes, I definitely play with Legos on a regular basis ...

Jennifer said...

Oh, I'm impressed just as much as I'm endeared.

Yokota Fritz said...

Love the bike. That's cool.

Kevin3NF said...

The Lego bike rocks...!

I've not been able to find a bike kit produced by LEGO, which is a drag, since I promote biek races and events in DFW...would love to hand them out to kids.

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