Monday, July 19, 2004

Swing Bike

At daVinci Days, people bring out some really wacky bikes. One guy has a 2 wheeled bike, kind of like a big razor, except the hub in the back wheel is off-center - so when you're rolling along, the platform goes up and down. And that's exactly how you make it go, you bounce up and down and you propel the bike forward (or backward if you're really tricky.

Some people have really tall bikes, or really long bikes, where they've welded two bike frames together to get the effect.

But the neatest kind of bike people ride are the swing bikes. The link just takes you to people who have the original swing bike, but I didn't see any originals at daVinci Days. The orginal looks real slick, but these homemade ones are even better. A swing bike is basically a bike with two pivots - the handle bars turn like usual, and the rear wheel turns (note the top-tubes are only connected at the seat post - it pivots there). As a result, you can make some kick-ass tight turns, and you can even ride along a curb with one wheel on the curb and the other on the street - I saw a guy doing that for a good 30-40 feet.

Anyway, Mary and I passed this dude who was riding his homemade swing bike and I asked how long it took him to learn to ride it. He said not very long and offered me a chance to ride it. My first thought was, "he wants my bike", but I realized that was silly. So I hopped on and rode around for about a minute.

It's a kick in the pants! Do you remember the freedom you felt when you first learned how to ride? How much fun it was just to be on a bike and go? It didn't matter if you rode around the block or all the way to the candy store. That's what riding this bike was like, just pure fun. It didn't matter that I only rode it for 200 feet, the destination is irrelevant, I was riding for the joy of it.

A swing bike is now on my Xmas list. This guy had two others at his home he'd made, perhaps he'd be willing to sell one.

Then I'd finally have a bike with a banana seat.

1 comment:

Razor Ground Force Drifter said...

I had never heard of a swing bike sounds like fun. I guess it would be quite different than a normal bike to ride.