William Greensmith + Uula Jero + Hannah Brackston + Free Wheel North (cycling Charity)
‘Quick and dirty bike trailers’ was the second phase of a creative bike project run with Free Wheel North, developed as a result of the completion of our ‘Rhino’ and ‘Hairy spider’ Adbikes (See project page). We took similar approaches, such as using salvaged materials (in this case pallets) and ran the project again in the form of a workshop. The project carried forward the concept of creating solutions to mobility and transport that are economically and environmentally sustainable as well as fun and playful to construct. Initially designed by William and Uula for Locavore veg bag deliveries we chose to open up the idea of wooden bicycle trailers to a wide range of volunteers and individuals to adapt, re-construct and tailor to their ideas and needs for transportation in the city. For example we had one trailer built specifically to carry a small piano, another for a child bike, one for carrying people and another moderated to fit into a specific amount of storage.
Each trailer could be made from approximately one pallet, two second hand bike wheels, 4 pieces of recycled angle bar cut to create drop outs and a small length of car tire for the hook up. Throw in a handful of screws and a pair of nuts and bolts and the whole procedure could be carried out at home with basic hand tools. We encouraged the participants to have involvement in each separate stage of the making process, from breaking up pallets into suitable planks at the start, to using their completed trailer to collect a pallet for the next person.
The social design of the workshops was also as important to us as the finished trailers. We had from a range of ages, back grounds and abilities. We took time to stress that there was no right or wrong solution, mistakes and trials were part and parcel of the program and people were free to start and stop, collaborate or turn up for just an hour. The activity of connecting people to using their hands and sharing ideas and space was aimed at exciting and empowering folk to think about how we can bring about simple solutions to daily life ourselves. The laughter created by testing out the structures, racing them around Maryhill and painting them silly colours was in itself a really liberating and playful experience!
We hope that by using these trailers in Glasgow the visibility of cycling increases and that each of the participants might at some future time teach the design to a friend and allow the idea to continue to evolve.
(*Anyone interested to learn more about the design or to make a trailer can contact William or myself – see bellow)
Free Wheel North http://www.freewheelnorth.org.uk/
William Greensmith http://glasgowwoodenbikeproject.wordpress.com/