Frank Tipaldo’s Most Creative Winning Entry
by Lee D. Zlotoff
June 30, 2009
How To Save Your Friend
- Remove the front wheel from your bike.
- Remove rear tire and inner tube only, leaving the rim still attached to the bike.
- Find or cut with the wire saw 4 sturdy branches (~2 1/2 diameter.) The first two (we’ll call them poles A and B) should be about 8 longer than the distance between the ground and the bottom of the seat. The other two (C and D) should be about twice as long as the first.
- Jam the bike’s front forks into the ground as deep as possible without hindering the movement of the chain/crank against the ground.
- Jam one end of poles A and B into the ground on either side of the bike and place the other ends under the seat. Adjust the distance out from either side of the bike to allow for the rear wheel to clear the ground and to provide stability to the bike.
- Jam one end of poles C and D into the ground behind and slightly out to the side of the bike and place the other ends under the bike seat. Make sure the ends of poles C and D are firmly jammed into the ground so as not to slip backward, pulling you off the cliff too!
- Lash the ends of the poles under the seat around the seat post using a shoelace, canteen strap, or small piece of the nylon cord so they don’t slip out from underneath the seat.
- Take nylon cord and place it in the channel of the rear rim where the inner tube used to be. Using your trusty Leatherman, snip one of your spokes near the center of the wheel. Bend the spoke around the rim as many time as possible … perhaps use 2 spokes. Or, instead of using the spoke, you could snip off your brake cables and wrap those around the rim between two spokes to create a ring to fasten the nylon cord to. This would probably be a better idea actually.
(a) While you’re at it, use some of the brake cable and wrap it over the top of the seat and under the bike’s horizontal support. This will prevent the bike from sliding down along the seat post, as I’m not sure the seat post clamp is designed to support that type of force and if the bike slides down the post and the pedals can’t clear the ground, you’re in trouble.
- Feed nylon cord through the spoke ring and tie a bowline knot.
- Wind the wheel a turn or two.
- Tie the other end of the nylon rope through the tops of your backpack straps and the top loop of the backpack.
- Make sure the bike is steady and throw the backpack over the side to your friend, alerting him first of course!
- Instruct him to place his legs through the arm straps, like a climbing harness, and grab the nylon rope above. This works best with the pack part in front. By having him put his legs through the straps, he doesn’t have to let go of the branch and can move very little to minimize the risk of the branch breaking or coming loose.
- Start cranking him up by pedaling the bike in first gear.
- Once he’s up, remove the bike’s front fork from the ground and put the front wheel back on.
- Lash poles C and D to either side of the fork using shoelaces/nylon cord.
- Lash pole A to the ends of C and D opposite the wheel, creating a triangle.
- Attach rain gear to the top of the triangle frame using nylon cord and extra inner tube if necessary, creating a wheelbarrow of sorts.
- Put your buddy in the wheelbarrow and wheel him to safety!