Friday, January 23, 2009

Redlands and Bamboo

So its a busy time of year with school getting back into full swing and the racing season looming large. I just finished the first week of class and it should be a great semester. I graduate in May and the last class I am required to take is Engineering Design, which is basically just an open-ended design class. I am going to make a bamboo fixie/single-speed with a couple other Mechanical Engineers. It is a really exciting project, I can't wait to get started. It is not the most original idea - there are a lot of people already working on this. I want to thank Nick Frey of Princeton and Sol Cycles right off the bat. First off his prototype bamboo road bike was unveiled about one year ago and I was really impressed by it.

Prototype bamboo bike by Sol Cycles (

And of course Calfee ( has been pushing the envelope for a long time using progressive materials for their frames. It is really exciting to have the opportunity to take this on. At school we have an awesome machine shop and many of the smaller custom parts (dropouts, etc) are going to be CNC-made on some 5-ft CNC's we have in there. Sweet! We are going to try to add some
 personal/innovative touches to the design if we have time, starting with little things, like bamboo handle bars. We'll see how far we can push things. The focus of the project will be to create a polished finished product potentially ready for production and sale.

Also keeping me busy these days is setting up a composite team for the Redlands Bicycle Classic out in California at the end of March. Its a good exercise in political shenanigans (which does not come naturally to me at all!) and there is a lot to still get in order. I can't wait to start racing. This last couple weeks has been particularly brutal here in the NE, which really has me looking forward to the summer and racing out West. In the meantime the order of the day is suck it up and keep turning those pedals!

I leave you with a particularly poignant (and random) photo. Thank you!

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