Don’t you love the sheddies – ingenious Sheddie Michael Thompson he of the Eco Shed Rammed Earth shed had a bet with his mate James that they could break the World Speed Record for a wooden bike..! Thomo has built it and James will ride it!
The guardian eco blog has featured it and it’s all the buzz on that twitter
Not a single bolt or screw has been used, nothing metal, plastic or rubber.
At 31kg, and with one fixed gear and no brakes, it’s unlikely to win awards for practicality, but as an engineering exercise it’s a marvel.
It began as a £1 bet last year between joiner Michael Thompson and friend James Tully as they watched the Tour of Britain zoom past Michael’s front garden.
Michael had always claimed he could make anything from wood, and James called his bluff in a big way.
More than 1,000 man hours and a considerable amount of skill and ingenuity later, the SplinterBike was ready to ride.
The axles are made of the hardwood ekki; the cogs, wheels and frame are birch ply; and oily ironwood was used in place of metal bearings where moving parts met. The pedals and handlebars were made from an old broom handle salvaged from Michael’s shed.
“Originally we thought ‘wooden bike, bang it down the road, follow it with a car, watch the speedo – that’s it, job done’,” said Michael.
“But it doesn’t work like that. Not if you want to be going into the history books. There are a lot of rules.”
the Speed Record Club is going to help , but they need £7,500 to pay for timekeeping and adjudication.
They hope that a sponsor will come forward, and want to raise money for disaster relief charity ShelterBox.
The 4:1 gear ratio should allow James to get the SplinterBike up to 31mph – if it stays in one piece, and if he’s done enough training.
“It should go the speed, it’s all down to James now. I’ve done my bit, there’s a lot of work that’s gone into it
They need sponsors to help get the official stuff done – also you can help then raise money for ShelterBox over at http://www.justgiving.com/SplinterBike
More info at their website SplinterBike