8.24.2010

America reCycled Update

It's been a long start, but we're finally at what feels like a tipping point. People say Asheville's the kind of place that sucks you in, where a week turns into a year and ambitions of global proportions give way to sipping a hot cup of maté while your friend plucks a rusted out banjo to the gentle chorus of a million insects.

This place has sucked us in, with so many amazing stories to tell. We were planning on leaving on our bikes a couple of months ago, but the story has actually kept us mostly in one place. Between building bicycles, developing the concept, raising funds, accumulating (and discarding) equipment, endless research, and documenting some truly inspiring pockets of Asheville, we've had our plates overflowing. We've been staying at a community house, forming perspective-bending friendships with the twenty or so residents and a constant flux of travelers. We're now editing the story about this community, and along with a piece about bicycle culture and the cooperative where we learned how to build and repair our bikes, we'll have two stories to launch the website with.

Thank you to everybody who has been so supportive and patient as we get this project off the ground. It's been unbelievably encouraging to see so much faith in a project still in its nascent stage. Thank you to Tim Klimowitz and Jacky Myint for their time and enthusiasm in giving the project a home on the web. We're ecstatic about the site design. Thanks to our sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Thom, who have been enormously generous and have helped us find a home here. And thanks to 82 generous backers (and counting), we have surpassed our initial fund raising goal, taking some financial pressure off of us and allowing us to focus on story-telling. And our endless gratitude goes out to all our new friends in Asheville who have taken us into their lives and dealt with the constant probing. It's not easy to live in the presence of a camera and microphone, but everybody has been wonderful. You have all done your part to create to what is turning out to be a massive community effort.

The air is growing cooler and the road is calling. It will be well worth the wait.

-Noah and Tim


Our bikes are close to complete.


Noah has a 5-Watt solar panel to power our electronics on the road and I built a camera mount for the front of my bike (see video below)


After scratching previous ideas for the mount, I ended up finding metal brackets to attach together to hold a wooden plate with a bolt for a tripod head. After hours of sifting through nuts and bolts at the bike shop, I finally found enough to make it work. The wood plate is attached at five points. Four to the front rack and one to the upper fork. I'll attach some more brackets before I leave for extra security. Right now it is pretty rigid and reacts to bumps noticeably, but I'm working on making some rubber washers to absorb some of the shock.



This is our solar setup. The 5-Watt panel powers a 10Ah Lithium-Ion battery. We have a solar controller between the two pieces so we know the level of charge.


The panel is 12V, so I got a 12V power cord for my laptop. Works like a charm.

Below is a beta test of the bike cam.



We have 2 weeks left on our KickStarter project. Support the project at www.americarecycled.org

7 comments:

Erik Wilson said...

Hey Tim - just happened upon this project and am fascinated by the concept and your approach. The community built bikes and various gear contraptions are awesome. I'm a photographer and cyclist myself and will be sure to check back for updates. Best of luck!

Danny Ghitis said...

YES!

Celia Talbot Tobin said...

You son-of-a-genius-biaaatch. I'm proud of you.

Omnigut the Merciless said...

Fantastic. Really cool!

Anonymous said...

It's good to see someone so at Home in my home-state.

Sons of Anarchy dvd said...

it is real Fantastic.

lafloor said...

hotdamn. this is a dream come true. i will be following, yes indeed. following all along. the gear is truly impressive. congratulations!