Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Woody Made Itself !!
with a little help from some friends
Peter Schwarzel ~ Carbonworks 
Mal and Sean ~ Anatomic 
Condo Sensei, Peter Catajar, Arie and Linda Carmody
Scott Wating ~ Barry's Laser
Ian & Joe ~ Paradise Road Cycles 

Dr. Mal at Anatomic 
From conception this Woody had a life of its own.  I was just the worker.  The wood stocks assembled themselves over a great period of time. For some reason I collect wood. I keep wood and (some) people give me wood...( I know what you are thinking : )

These woods are in this frame.

'60something' pieces, 9 different species.... from Africa, Fiji, Canada, Australia, Tasmania (its almost like a different county) and Papa New Guinea. The Rose Wood and the '23 rings to the inch aircraft grade' Douglas Fur were off cuts of slabs I used in the dining room of Witches Falls Cottages. 
The Cedar was from the now defunct Captains Table Restaurant in Surfers Paradise and had a curious smell of deep fried calamari, lime and pickled ginger, all combined with that unforgettable Cedar bouquet... 

The 'spiritual heart of this machine' ...  Shinto speaking, is Hinoki, which is a very much loverd Japanese timber.
Gold and Snake Shin contradiction
Hinoki stays and Down Tube

Last year after riding Woody No 1 some 1000km around the mountainous Izu Peninsular and Kanto Plains of Japan I was given some Hinoki by Condo Sensei, a highly skilled timber artisan and patient teacher from nearby Odawara.
Condo Sensei on the Big Woody 2012
I showed him Woody No1 and told him of 'my beliefs' over green tea ... probably because Coopers stout is not 'big' over there : (   Condo Sensei offered some Hinoki for inclusion in my next frame...  From that moment I knew I  had a mission...
Off roading Woody No1 around Lake Ashnoko 700m ABSL ...yes it floats !
Fuji view guard rail, No1 wooden fixie 

Splinter check ...South bound, West Coast Izu on a closed cliff hanging coastal road 
From what little I know Hinoki is used in Japanese Temple buildings amongst other things. 
It has been called 'Go-Shin-boku'  "Tree where god (small 'g') stayed" ... In Traditional housing it is often seen in the central 4 post support structure because of its strength and flexibility (think earthquakes),  and its good looks, for its left exposed on its journey through the house. 
It's also used in Japanese baths for its ability to withstand somewhat 'intriguing', humid environments.  

Exhibit 109 Car Crash !!
I had and idea for the design of this frame which has developed over years of riding and recently fined tuned over many restless nights rolling around in my 'window box bed' ...(its cooler out there! ) 
Sound design principles like a long real estate grabbing 1035mm wheel base, real easy head angles that a '1800's Kalgoorlie Gold Miner' would be proud of, and a seat angle that is all GO !  ... So finally my butt  (opps!  wrong link) ...try this ...butt will be going faster than my head, which will be a nice change these days. 

This whole endeavor stems from my prolonged 'study' of boat building and directly 'reverberates' from contemplating building acoustic guitars...  Thankfully I finally realized that if I want to embark on that 'long and winding road' to creating a Master Piece, 
I should at least build something I can ride ! 

Making the best of the badge 'Cycle Tragic' is not easy, so I'm hoping that the brave move of building and riding  'Woody's' in amongst the ever growing number of 'injection molded, Le Tour approved carbon' will finally satisfy the acclamation...!

I decided to build a fixed wheel frame because as you may well know, it's the 'purist form of Cycling'  apart from  'Tall Biking'  (you'd better 'Scroogle' that if your backward or covered in 'Le Tour Kit' )   Such 'purity' will allow me to concentrate on and develop the 'ride qualities of wood' in all its glorious combinations.  It is arguably a New Frontier in the never ending search for a 'sweet ride'.

As for the build first some CAD drawings and a complete MDF patten in great detail was made in an almost ritualistic way, then basically I threw them out the front of the shed ! 
Finally at some stage, slightly intoxicated, which helps me in defining moments like weddings etc., I plunged into my coveted wood stocks.  
CAD Drawings?

Several months later the frame was finished and embellished with all the 'Pimp my Ride' bling that I could afford to courier half way round the world !

'See' trials  have started here along the Gold Coast inevitably ending up at Point Danger, a mecca for 'Wooden Bike Test Pilots' and have undoubtedly turned a few heads and made a few cry !  'Fall Out' or not... a  traditional  'Maiden Voyage'  will be undertaken in Japan in April even if I have to find a full radiation suit in gold ! 

Rammed Earth and Wood !