Feb 22

Feb 22, 2006

Finishing the Rocket!

Warren Beauchamp from the very popular web site recumbents.com sent me an email last year at some point reminding me to finish what I had started with the Rocket velomobile. He said "Keep on plugging! This is where people lose interest and park it in the shed." For some reason, I haven't forgotten that, and he is right. I promised myself that this winter would be Rocket time, and I finally dragged myself off of my office chair last week and decided to finally do something about it.

The relationship between my shop and myself since Alabama has sort of been on the rocks. I walk into my shop with the intent on doing something, stand there, look at the mess, and walk out back to my computer. I've done that almost every day for the last few months.

Baby steps. That's the solution. I penciled down on my daily todo list to do nothing more than drag the Rocket into the shop from the garage, and pull the fairing shell off. I MADE MYSELF DO IT!! And it wasn't so bad - only took about 30 minutes.

Then the next day I removed all of the components, steering mechanism, wheels, etc, etc and drove the fairing shell and bare frame over to Superior Paint and Autobody shop for paint. The guy there said they couldn't sand blast the rust off the frame, so I took it back home and sanded it all down. While I was at it, I fixed a bunch of welds, and welded on some bolt-on parts. I also made a new mount for the front derailleur which needed fixing.

It's actually getting done!!! This is so empowering! I can actually do something again!!

I removed the rusting steel fork from CriticalPower and sanding it down as well. I figured that I might as well get it painted along with the Rocket frame.

The frame is ready for painting now and I'll drop it off at the painters this week when I pick up the finished fairing!! You might recall the various color schemes I had envisioned a while ago:

I decided against that because the fairing shell is quite wobbly. I thought that a flat black on the bottom half, with a metallic, glossy yellow on the top might do a better job a hiding the wobbly body. It will look something like this:

I ordered some cool yellow brake and derailleur housing from Branford Bike, and some brand new trigger style handle bar shifters. When everything is back from the paint shop, I'll build it all back up, and start work on the safety lights that fit into the two rear wheel fairings. Then - the sound system!! This baby is going to rock!!!

More soon!!

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