We do bicycle work for many reasons. To enable the thrill and renewal of carefree riding, to honor the materials available, to share our skills, sometimes we can’t quite help ourselves.
A beautiful example of all those is a wood bike built by Chris Connor of Connor Wood Bicycles for a fundraiser organized by Robert Brudnell of Natural Way to celebrate the life of a friend. Please visit the site to learn the whole story and contact Robert if you’re inspired to participate.
For today, let’s bask in some lovely images of the process and bike. A big part of the magic of making things (from meals to bikes to films) is seeing a mental visualization become physical and shareable. What a rush. Second is watching materials move from a pure state in which they only represent possibilities to another where they are performing precise tasks. This transformation, despite our growing understanding of the principles, remains a fundamentally captivating magic.
The bike is designed to race the very demanding Leadville 100, a high speed, challenging variety of terrain. White ash was obtained from two donated trees. One victim of traffic, one of development. Black walnut died of a new-to-Colorado disease in residential Denver.
Here are the milled boards headed to the frame shop. The spirit of a bicycle is dormant inside them!
Specialized engineering, elaborate shaping, structural tricks, most of the cleverness is hidden from sight. Many hours in the workshop…
Of course, what would this vehicle do for mobility without wheels?
The finished bike is a marvel of graceful force management, art, originality, and function.
Now for some speed. The transformation is complete!
Be sure to visit the project site for more pictures of the process and details of the very touching story of charity, family, community, and sustainability. Well done Robert and team!