Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nine point eight metres per second squared.

Gravity is free fun, and Portland knows how to do it better. Standing at the top of the Zoo hill on a clear moonlit Friday night, I was asked how fast my three-wheeled deathtrap could go. My response was vague and had to do with the laws of gravity. The ambiguity was partially because I didn't know how fast the thing would actually be; this was its inaugural run.

The Donk Tryke was admittedly a fashion build, paying homage to both my respectable 10th place showing in the Tour de Bomb at MBWIV, and to the gravity bike community that has developed in Portland in the past year.

Was it fast? No. The solid wheelchair wheels produce a lot of drag. Looking back, that might have been a good thing. The high center of gravity, the rear wheels' lack of shock absorbtion, and the questionable stability of the rear bearings - the Tryke's fatal flaw - made the experience of every bit as stupid and dangerous as we had expected.

The real race that night ended up being between Gabe and Chuck on their 20" junkyard g-bikes. Chuck took the lead early; Gabe tried to make a pass on one of the tighter corners and went down, salvaging third. Props to Chuck for organizing a rad new event for this year's MBW, and to all who participated. Here's Gabe with his race losing g-bike at the bottom of Salmon.

Andy of Fyxomatosis has long been putting fashion and function into his road and track bike builds, but as we know, this stuff doesn't happen without a good crew. From that crew comes, without a doubt, the sickest g-bike I have ever seen. Click through for photos from Andy White, and ridiculous g-bike from The Gonz. The disc brake is about where the similarities between this and the Donk Tryke end.

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