Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tree bikes

 I poached this from the internet, thought it would be interesting to reading for everyone



Samuelson, a contractor and owner of MC Squared in Cape May, said he has always tinkered with personal projects outside his work on residential and commercial buildings. A former bike racer, Samuelson said a friend one day quoted him a line from a movie where a brat kid says to a struggling balloon crafter, “Build me a bicycle, clown.”
So he did, making the frame entirely out of hardwood. He and others liked the result so much that he built nearly 20 more from a variety of woods, including mahogany, ash, purpleheart and oak.
The wooden bikes are equipped with conventional cycling components and work just like regular bicycles, which is part of the challenge, Samuelson said.
“Art is usually there to be looked at, and mine has to be functional, so I have to walk this line between making it beautiful and making it perfectly functional,” he said.
Components also drive up the price of materials alone to $700. With each bike requiring about 75 hours of work, the bikes have to be priced as art for Samuelson to make money on them.
The wooden bikes have been in the artists’ co-op, in West Cape May; the Rusty Nail, in Cape May; and Algie’s Place bike shop, in Wildwood Crest, he said. There are also four in the Breezin’ Up clothing store in the Hamptons, N.Y.
Samuelson said he’s working on a new version that could gain in popularity by reducing two things cyclists try to avoid: weight and cost.
“I’m shooting to have an under-20-pound wooden bicycle, and I think it will be one of my cheaper models,” he said.
Whatever the price, his self-propelled pieces of furniture would surely get noticed on any boardwalk or bike path.
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