Somewhere in Omaha a children’s bicycle is undergoing a transformation into an increasingly unusual vehicle, which just happens to look like a glowing pony. After breaking his collarbone, artist and creative tinkerer Scott Blake was told that he couldn’t ride a bike for a while, but rather than simply resting while he recovered, he set to work on an ambitious drill bike project.
Inspired by a tutorial video by Kim Henricksen, Blake spent about a month turning a children’s Jamis bike and a couple of DeWalt cordless drills into a vehicle that can go over 20 miles per hour for about 5 miles before needing the batteries replaced. Apparently, his collarbone had sufficiently healed by the time he test drove it, because according to Blake, “The first time I squeezed full throttle it sent me straight on my back.”
In the video that Blake made about the project, he described the various ways that he modified the bike and the drills. For instance, because his bike uses two drills in tandem, he had to install ratchet adaptors, “so that if one drill is spinning faster than the other, it’ll just free-wheel. Sometimes one drill will just all of the sudden stop working, or get stuck or something, so it’s nice that it can still keep going with just one drill.” Blake also had to split the throttle cable and add a threaded rod to hold the drills in place.
After the mechanics of the drill bike were working perfectly, Blake kept thinking of ways to customize his creation. When reached for comment, Blake explained that he plans to ride his drill bike in future parades and that the inspiration for some of the additional modifications came from a combination of Collin Furze’s “Motorhorse” and the miniature cars driven by the Shriners in parades. “Adding the horse makes people smile,” said Blake, “it makes me smile.”
After adding the horse, Blake installed LED lights inside the horse body to make it glow, and is working on a costume to wear when he rides the bike, including an oversized cowboy hat to cover his helmet, which is reminiscent of the one worn by a character in the film “Dumb and Dumber.” When asked what other customizations he had in mind for his motorized creation, Blake offered this fittingly cryptic list, “Lights, more tassels, no unicorn, chaps, Halloween, bubble machine, battery storage, Dumb and Dumber.”
Even though a lot of successful drill bikes have already been made and documented, Blake’s project is a great example of how personalized customizations to even the most straightforward or well-known projects can turn them into something truly unique and extraordinary. And, if you happen to be in the Omaha area, be sure to keep your eye out for a little glowing pony when you’re on the road!
Keep up with developments on Blake’s electric drill pony bike on his Instagram.