In a past life as the Social Media Manager for Bike Friday I had the good fortune to connect with OR Bike's Ayleen Crotty and Nutcase Helmet's Meghan Sinnott, two of the key players in the Portland bike scene and the driving force behind the Filmed by Bike international bike-themed film festival.
To kick off the festival, every year there is a big party on opening night, aptly dubbed the Street Party (though, apparently, it had not been on the actual street for some time, the return being a point of pride for this year's FBB).
I was lucky enough to get invited to this year's Street Party to provide entertainment for the bike-hungry masses. So I brought my most entertaining bicimakina, the pedal-powered air compressor. Naturally, shenanigans ensued.
And, our new bff, THE SHARK 🤣
This was, hands down, the Shark's funniest moment...
Had a fun run-in with this guy at the very end of the night. He built this tall bike himself, takes it to Burning Man along with his Tiki-bar bike. The best part? There is a giant PAC MAN that goes on the front, as he pedals it chomps! Gotta get this guy on film...
It was really great to hear directly from the filmmakers and learn more about their projects and process. Lars C. Larsen (far left) is the one who did the really rad light-trail stop motion animation trailer for this year's FBB. I'm really glad that I had time to stick around and catch up with the filmmakers in person. Bummed that I didn't get to see any of their work though, the night before I was working the crowds, and then the next day I had to scoot back to return the van I borrowed. Hopefully, I'll get to see their work at the next FBB.
The pedal-powered air compressor, i.e. Balloon Bike, is made of four pieces. An old Tunturi exercise bike, a Campell Hausfeld 20 Gallon air tank, an old two stage (formerly) 500 HP compressor head, and a janky palette base. I wanted to clean it up as best I could, but with my time constraints I knew that would be limited to rebuilding the base. In my mind, the tank will get sandblasted and powder coated, complete with a large vinyl Bicimakina logo. While the Tunturi will get CHROME PLATED.... Oh man... I just... Whoa...
Remade the base at my buddy Jonathan's shop. Used his old cedar fence boards. Has a nice aesthetic, plus it's a lot smaller and lighter.
I had a lot of fun coming up with the set up for the booth. Didn't quite pull it off as well as I had hoped, but it was a good start that's inspired an improved version for the next time.
I really liked the aesthetic of this, but cardboard was a lousy material to try to make it out of. I mean it was cheap and did the trick, but it's pretty fragile, plus, you can see the shapes naturally warped just from being cut. To do again, I'll use balsa wood and hire someone to laser cut it for me. The other part that did not work, like at all, was having christmas lights inside of it, they were just too dim compared to the bike wheel chandelier, and you couldn't even tell they were in there. Again, to do over, I'd use LED strips, maybe rainbow ones that oscillate. But more likely just white ones, and then cover the inside with images from our interviews. I'm really (really) excited to make that version.
One additional thing that was nice about the "light box" was that the proportions nicely echoed those of the Smiirl Counter on top of it. What is a Smiirl Counter you ask? Why it's this clever contraption...
Whilst I was, literally, waiting for paint to dry I decided to set this thing up. Okay, right, so what is it: it's a real time, analog, Facebook Like counter. When someone likes Bicimakina on Facebook it clacks through the numbers (like a train station!) until it has an accurate count. It's a brilliant piece of technology, and I was thrilled to employ it at the event.
However, I found out that it's not self-explanatory (not even a little). No one understood what it was, so it took some coaching/coaxing. But once people got it, they were on board. I think better signage would help. I made this box, but the letters just weren't bold enough, also there should have been an arrow, the thumb pointing backwards was too subtle.
Spray painting got kind of nasty. Facebook delivered the best/worst answers to get it off my hands, like peeing on it. Nail polish remover and a scrubby sponge did the job.
Building the booth was fun, it worked out basically as I had imagined it. Huzzah for well developed 3D spacialization skillz!
A polished video all about the pedal-powered air compressor, including footage from the Street Party, will be released June 1st. Stay tuned to check it out!
And don't forget, this Friday we release the Broom Bike video! It's so good... you don't want to miss it ;)
P.S. Want to give a shout out to James Carter and Taylor Eisele for coming out to capture content with us!