“If you build it, I’ll ride it.” Those were the fateful words of accomplished triathlete James Tully, after his friend Michael Thompson floated the idea of building an all wooden bicycle. While most of us use our shop tools for more conventional things, HomeFixated has to tip our hats to the gumption of this dynamic duo. So, exactly how nutty is building a bike completely from wood, and then aspiring to set a land speed record attempt?
Not quite as nutty as you might think. SplinterBike.co.uk scoured the Internet and compiled a full wooden bike photo gallery. Apparently there are a lot of people out there that have decided all our advances in composite metals and carbon fiber should be completely disregarded in favor of crafting a wooden bicycle. But, if you look closely at those wooden bikes, you’ll notice almost all of them use metal for the tricky parts like cranks, axels, spokes, wheels, etc. Tully and Thompson would likely scoff at such shortcuts.
Naturally, since you’re reading this on HomeFixated, you’re probably thinking: a) what does this have to do with home improvement (not much) and b) is this for real? Behold, the dramatic video setting the stage for what might be the universe’s most epic, courageous, dramatic, ambitious, stupendous and electrifying “All wooden bicycle land speed record attempt” ever!
Of course, as far as we know it’s the only “All wooden bicycle land speed record attempt” ever. Meaning if Tully the Triathlete breaks 5 mph, they’ve nailed it! Even so, we’re impressed. Crafting this speed demon entirely out of wood presents some real engineering and practical challenges, especially when it comes to handling minor things like friction. After all, rubbing wood together usually results in something other than a land speed record. . . namely. . . fire. I hope Tully suits up in a Nomex racing suit for this one.
This speed machine is being built at the world famous Eco-Shed in the UK, which also provides courses and training material so you can build your own low impact green buildings and structures on the cheap.