Tall Bike Bobby: From Vancouver to LA on a Hand-Made Bicyle

Tall Bike Bobby: From Vancouver to LA on a Hand-Made Bicyle


A bike with a back wheel that steers. A bike with a milk-crate sidecar. A bike with a second seat on the handlebars. An impossible-to-ride bike that turns in the opposite direction it’s steered. These are just a few of the custom made bikes that our friends at Cyclecide Bike Rodeo have been bringing to Maker Faire for many years. Today I met one of the people associated with Cyclecide, who goes by Tall Bike Bobby (birth name: Bobby Gadda). Bobby was managing one of the popular pedal-powered rides at Maker Faire but he took a break to show me the tall bike he rode from Vancouver to Los Angeles last year.

Bobby learned how to weld to make the bike, and in fact the bike was his first welding project. Fortunately it never broke on the 2,000 mile trip, though Bobby often stopped at welding shops along the way to make improvements to the bike. I asked him how he fared crossing the desert on his way to LA. “I carried a lot of water,” he said.

The unusual looking bike was an asset he says, because people he encountered were friendly, curious, and happy to help him out whenever he needed assistance of any kind. He enjoyed the experience so much that he is building a new bike for a ride from Portland to South America this fall.

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Mark Frauenfelder is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Make: magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.

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