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write a song about me, charlie parr

My roommate, Scott, is a genius. Look at what he built:


Yep, that's a motorized trailer that he welded to his bicycle. Scott's Huffy now goes (when pressed) 26 miles per hour, and travels 60 miles per gallon of gas. Here's video-proof.

A few weeks ago, Scott and I took his bike-pusher up scenic 61 to Ed Johnson's Junque Shop. This was its first journey outside of the ten-block radius surrounding our house. I rode my regular, thigh-powered bicycle. "I'll set the pace," I said, because I'm clever. "Just try to keep up."

What followed was nothing short of epic. Which would emerge victorious? Man or machine? Man's capacity for building enormous thigh muscles, or man's ability to attach utility motors to bicycles? John Henry or the steam drill?


Well the latter, of course. Or it would have, if this had actually been a contest, and if Scott hadn't taken pity on me and slowed down after I began feeling dizzy and nauseated (it was really hot).

But we made it to the Junque shop, which is thirteen miles away. So the bike-pusher passed its first test. And it's functioned every day since. Scott is OPEC's worst nightmare. He should probably watch his back.


But when you look at all of the things I brought home that day, I think it becomes clear who really won.


(I did.)


Also, it should be noted that I had donated plasma earlier in the day, which hurt my performance immeasurably.

The aftermath:



you should submit a make magazine article on this

I must have seen him the other day. I was curious how one goes about shifting it in and out of gear.

That looks like something between 2.5 and 5 horsepower. A human can't do that with thighs, but the engine has to carry its own weight, too.

I can't tell by the picture, but am sort of curious... how can he run the engine and pedal at the same time? There must be a clutch of some sort.

You are correct. I used a 4hp Honda engine with a go-kart clutch connected to the wheel by chain and sprocket, just like a mini-bike attached behind my bicycle. When I give it gas the clutch on the engine engages and pushes the bike.

I have to admit, that is probably one of the coolest things I've seen.

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