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Follow my adventures in parkour, tall bikes, beater cars, and kinetic sculpture racing, just to name a few.

Sun's out/ Fun's out

Sun's out/ Fun's out

Video by Nick. Words by Jay. 

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 We are on the train back from Maker Faire. It was big and loud and hot. And I'm really glad we chose to catch transport some of the way. After yesterday, it's nice to know we can go a mile downhill, then 6 miles on flat, pleasant, Main-Street-USA streets each way to Maker Faire, like there's no effort involved. Our arms were INCREDIBLY sore this morning. Unexpected consequences of riding heavy loads up and downhill, apparently. The miles from the BART stop were like travelling through a movie suburb, complete with oppressive floral scent. And chocolate!! Guittard chocolate is based in Burlingame, and boy, howdy! could we smell the roasting beans. I'm still drooling.

Liz, a friend of Nick’s, met us at the gate with two 3-day Maker bracelets. We have agreed to help watch her table of awesome superhero and assorted comic book wallets, pins and jewelry, in exchange for having an AWESOME weekend. She has blue hair and is sporting a TARDIS dress. We are going to be friends. Bikes securely locked, we venture inside.

Someone's personal converted moped. 

Someone's personal converted moped. 

There aren't many pictures today because we never knew which way to look. Lots of things were outside because they were too big to for through the doors, something we hadn't considered when we decided not to bring our CamelBaks, and it was hot. There were half a dozen large metal sculptures that shot fire in some capacity, a heart, a giant clockwork ant, a giant snail, to name a few. A thirty-five foot pair of Tesla coils. And of course, can forget the 12 ton MegaBot, the rainbow catmobile, or the animatronic pedal powered puppet cyclemobiles.

Cyclecide pedal-go-round

Cyclecide pedal-go-round

We finally met the folks from Cyclecide, the SF area chopper gang. One of the guys there is collecting interviews with different chopper gangs, so asked all kinds of questions. They have lots of build time and less organized rides than organized pranks, it seems. Also, they build amusement park style, pedal powered rides of old bicycle and industrial (car, forklift, etc) parts. When we finally caught up with them today, they'd been asked to stop playing as the field trip students wouldn't settle down, so we are excited to play tomorrow!

This is only half the lotus, the full thing used to be on top of a Museum. And real grass underneath!! 

This is only half the lotus, the full thing used to be on top of a Museum. And real grass underneath!! 

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There was an exhibit hall with no lights where glow in the dark objects were displayed, a giant giraffe, a lucite piano that lit up LEDs for each note played. An exhibit of masking tape art, a giant Zoetrope of a falling body, a laser maze. There was an inflatable 10 foot tall flower garden, and a giant lotus with real grass. We talked to the folks from Monkelectric for ages, with their fancy display bicycle wheels, and a picture of us showed up as Nick pedaled! The lights got to be too much for us, so we further explored the hall where Liz was, and table-sat for a while. It was very saturated with 3-D printers, but there were some things, like working model engines that were more worth the view than others. A giant Lego display of working trains and a whole city, some buildings 4 or 5 feet tall! That was impressive.

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So much tape! Here's to you, Rocket! 

So much tape! Here's to you, Rocket! 

When we first walked in, we had been greeted by the Pinball Museum from Alamaeda, who brought an Airstream trailer full of old games. Outside, they unlocked the mysteries of how certain parts worked with myriad displays. There was always something more to look at, someone else to talk to, and whole sections of the Faire we didn't see at all. Interestingly, it felt that Friday had been an afterthought, many folks, on display and vendors alike, weren't set up or present at all! Tomorrow, Nick is looking forward to visiting drone fighting, while I want to spend time in the fiber arts section. There are also some talks we are excited to hear.

Because of Liz’s tickets, we were able to stay for the Maker’s dinner. What this entailed was a popcorn bar with every condiment one could ever want, beer and cider, coconut water, and endless Paella in meat and veggie varieties. The Paella pans were massive. I could've fit my entire tall bike in one! Nearly all the vehicles had made their way to the dining area, and we perused them til we finished eating. Then we split, unlocking our bikes and heading back though the smell of roasting cocoa beans to BART until *SPROING* Frankenspoke broke, within spitting distance of the train. Tomorrow, I’ll be riding my cousin’s VERY NICE Cannondale, and we will worry about fixing the wheel or finally replacing it Monday when Yellow Bike or SF bike kitchen open again. So long, Frankenspoke, you were great for the 85 miles I needed you!

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Making, Friends and Influencing People

Making, Friends and Influencing People

How the west was won