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Posted on April 10, 2017 @ 08:03:00 AM by Paul Meagher
Laura Kampf is a maker with a growing audience on YouTube. Her videos generally contain no words which is limiting in some ways but also makes them more universally accessible. In this video she modifies a bicycle to make it useful for picking up a case of beer.
Modifying bicycles is a great way to engage in the "maker" movement. There are a tons of modifications you can make to bikes to change the aesthetics or create other uses for them. There are lots of old bikes available for free or cheap and the chains, gears, wheels, and cables can be used to make other contraptions.
I was recently reading about the Wright Brothers who owned a bicycle shop and are famous for the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903. They used sprockets and chains from the motor to drive the propeller. They also figured out how to stop the plane from rolling side to side and tipping up and down. Perhaps they used chains and sprockets, or just cables, to control the stabilizers. An example of how an understanding of bicycle parts and mechanics can be used to innovate in another product line.
The humble bike can be used as a sustainable means of transport but, with modification, it offers many other uses. It has been used to power water pumps, cultivate fields, power blenders, generate electricity and much more. Modding bikes was my first introduction to making when I was a kid. I, like many other kids at the time, modified my banana bike by cutting off a section of the forks and hammering in another set of forks to make it into a hot rod bike (i.e,. a chopper). If I knew how to weld and shape metal back then like Laura Kampf, I would have had the coolest hot rod bike around.
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